OK, I can't say I was ever fond of Kerry but now he has really pissed me off. Apparently, he doesn't understand that Social Security is in trouble. What's worse is that his remarks directly contradict remarks made by Alan Greenspan earlier that day. Anyone here remember how Greenspan "saved" Social Security in the early 80s? After considerable research, Greespan put together a plan that saved the fund from insolvency. It wasn't fun, but Greenspan spent a lot of time studying the problem so not only is he the Chairmen of the Federal Reserve and a highly respected economist, but he's also -- unlike Kerry -- an expert on the issue of Social Security.
Greenspan's plan worked so well that Social Security had surplus revenue. What did Congress approve (and Reagan gleefully accept lest his budgets would look even worse)? They took the surplus retirement funds, replaced them with IOUs (though the technical term is "Treasury Notes"), and used the extra funds to reduce the apparent size of the deficit. If a private corporation were to do this, the officers of the corporation would be vacationing at federal pound me in the ass prisons. Taking this money creates what is called an "unfunded liability" and it's a felony -- unless you're the US Government. Interestingly, every president since the Reagan administration has taken advantage of this to artificially reduce the size of the deficit. When Clinton said he had a balanced budget, he lied. Until the government stops using our Social Security funds to pay down the deficit, the situation is just going to get worse and worse.
And what's happening with all of those Treasury Notes that are building up? They have to be repaid, someday. Of course, if we can't pay for them now and we're accruing them every year for decades, how the hell can we pay for them in the future? You think Italy and Japan have problems with an aging population? We're going to be fucked if our government doesn't do anything.
Which is why John Kerry is a dumbass. He's not a dumbass for thinking Social Security "just needs a few tweaks." He's been around long enough to know this is a crock of shit. He's a dumbass because he's made it clear that his government is business as usual. Fuck the American people. You see, if Kerry were to try to save the program, he would probably raise taxes, cut benefits, raise the retirement age or something similar. This is painful and will piss off the public. Further, if he admits the problem during the campaign, it will hurt him. However, given that no president for the past two decades has so much as lifted a finger to fix this, Kerry is not just "lying low" on the issue. Of course, he's a party-line Democrat. I expect nothing better from them. I am so furious to hear his statements about Social Security that I am thinking about voting third party. I am also furious to realize that I can't vote third party. Kerry, like Clinton, will at least have the decency to fuck us with the door closed.