two tangential hypocrisies related to social security

Topics: Welfare
09 Mar 2007

From: Ervan Darnell

Environmentalists propose something called "the precautionary
principle"[1], by which they mean that any new technology (or deployment
of existing technology) be banned until it's proven safe, proven to a
bunch of bureacrats that is. I'd like to see them apply the same theory
to government policy circa 1920, and for instance not allow social
security to go into effect until it is proven stable and fundable. Or,
if you don't think retroactively is fair, then apply the same principle
to socializing health care. Of course, most greens are not in favor of
the precautionary principle there.

Sarbanes-Oxley [2] requires, among other things, that options be
reported as a liability and that CEOs be held personally and criminally
responsible for any errors in the reports. It's not merely if they
falsified the documents (and are proven to have had intent), but if the
documents are wrong in any way (ignoring both intent and knowledge), the
CEO is liable. How about applying the same standard to social
security? The SS deficit is not reported as part of the budget
deficit. The acturarial deficit there is even more real than the
liability of options (which could be cashed at any time, might never be
cashed, have an unknown future cost). And, while we are at, how about
holding Congress critters personally and criminally liable for lying
about the program? Not a chance. The government exempts itself from
its own rules.

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