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Monday, January 03, 2005

Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt

The New York Times > Opinion > Editorial: The Social Security Fear Factor: Starting last year, as the groundwork was being set for the emerging debate, the Social Security trustees took the liberty of projecting the system's solvency over infinity, rather than sticking to the traditional 75-year time horizon. That world-without-end assumption generates the scary $10 trillion estimate, and with it, Mr. Bush's putative rationale for dismantling Social Security in favor of a system centered on private savings accounts. The American Academy of Actuaries, the profession's premier trade association, objected to the change. In a letter to the trustees, the actuaries wrote that infinite projections provide 'little if any useful information about the program's long-range finances and indeed are likely to mislead any [nonexpert] into believing that the program is in far worse financial condition than is actually indicated.' As it often does with dissenting professional opinion, the administration is ignoring the actuaries.
I think we might re-name Shrub. Perhaps "Chicken Little" is more appropos. If it wasn't such an effective short-term way to aggregate power, it would be laughable.

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