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GreenspanGate

In his younger years, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan was a Nazi. Here's the proof!!!

greenspan_salute.jpg


The denizens of Daily Kos have listened carefully to the words of their patron saint, Tom Daschle Jr (Harry Reid), and have declared moonbat jihad on an octogenarian, a reporter, and a libertarian author who has been dead for more than 20 years.

"We should hunt down anything Greenspan has ever written, said or done that reflects poorly on him.

...And for those of you who want to really get down & dirty in the trenches, we can turn this into a one-degree-of-separation venture. That is, if you can find similar material for anyone who is closely linked to Greenspan, that's fair game, too. Good examples would be Greenie's idol, the nutbag "objectivist" Ayn Rand, and Andrea Mitchell, his NBC reporter wife."

We're just trying to help those virtuous truth-seeking Kosites out...

Elsewhere - The Salivating Morons Who Make Up the Lynch Mob [Balloon Juice]

At long last, men ... have you no shame? [Ankle Biting Pundits]


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Comments (34)

Lord have mercy, these folk... (Below threshold)
Tom:

Lord have mercy, these folks are desperate...

It is very Monty Pythonesque.

Kos as the Black Knight

and who has the coconuts.

I'm just waiting for someon... (Below threshold)

I'm just waiting for someone to ask Greenspan about this. From a man whose associates are world-class economists, presidents and kings, the answer would have to be: "Who?"

Greenspan's a Randian? I fi... (Below threshold)

Greenspan's a Randian? I find that hard to believe; their type typically can't stomach a central bank.

I said it before, I'll say ... (Below threshold)
Ray Midge:

I said it before, I'll say it again. Kos, his words... I read that and... am I mistaken, or isn’t that what evil’s sposed to look like in it's raw form, when it’s not trying to fool anyone, hasn't bothered with its hair, its make up, just hangin’ round the house on a lazy Sunday afternoon with its fat pants on? He's drifted over into comic book, cape wearing, island stronghold, whatever’s necessary-to-bring-about-the-glorious-future sorta evil.

And to do it so openly? Sure, at least he updates to inform his minions not to call what they’re doing by its name, but c’mon? That’s it? Is that the way it is now? Maybe I don’t realize how politics is really played now, but at least, in the past, if the playa's did that sorta thing, they did it behind closed doors. I mean, even cockroaches have the instinct ot do thier scuzzy work in the dark... to be scurry from the light. They’re just… damn!

Kos is walking down the pat... (Below threshold)
Red:

Kos is walking down the path of MoveOn.org. Just what the left needs more image problems of a bunch of lunatic left hit squads going after respected individuals like Greenspan who has served for both Republican & Democratic Presidents.

The insideous mean streak on the Left is just getting more insane the more the see power slipping further away.

Is this for real? They are ... (Below threshold)
julie:

Is this for real? They are going to go after the man's wife? Besides the fact she is a moonbat, I don't think it is going to go over very well. They are like Joe McCarthy. They'll end up going after the wrong person and it will be their downfall.

The problem for lefties is ... (Below threshold)
puppetz:

The problem for lefties is they just don't have the juice the right wing of blahgiztan has- they have spent so much time making outrageous statements and tilting at windmills that I just don't think they have the credibility or clout the right has- the Jordon/Rather victories were about substance and conducted sanely. The entire run up to the election on through GannonGuckert have been conducted by the left insanely. Even the lib MSM isn't going to touch any story pumped up by Kos or Atrios because they are tainted by their looniest supporters. And the desperation and envy of those impotent and very angry lefties is going to lead to even more ridiculous over-reaching and marginalize them even more, while the substasive nature of the debate on Powerline, Polipundit, Cpt Ed and the always reasonable and calm Instapundit will cause them to gain respect and main-stream visibility and viability. This in turn will make the Kossites even more frothingly insane and so on. God help us if a reasonable, sane lefty blahgite ever gains a mass audience of like-minded liberals to where he could make a sane case in their cause. As long as Kos and Escaton and their slavering minions lead the pack it ain't gonna happen.

Moonbat Jihad,soun... (Below threshold)
howard_deans_love_child:

Moonbat Jihad,

sounds like a good name for a punk band.

If hypocrisy is a sign of d... (Below threshold)
Clive Tolson:

If hypocrisy is a sign of desperation, Wizbang would be an ABC prime time drama!

Where's the outrage here over the scurrilous attack on the AARP by USA Next? The hateful distortions they've launched would be more worthy of a post, than this weak attempt at manufacturing a scandal.

A clarification from Kos:

A commenter below helps provide a more articulate clarification of our goal here: "We have strong reasons to believe that Greenspan's predictions and words are not credible, and clarify his credibility is critical to the health of the nation. Therefore we are looking for volunteers to join in a deep investigation into Greenspan's thinking and philosophy. We need to look back on all the things he has said and endorsed about economics and economic policy and compare those with the current policies he is advocating today."

Look for that nude Gannon p... (Below threshold)
bullwinkle:

Look for that nude Gannon photo to undergo a little photoshopping soon, all they need to do is paste Greenspan's head on it. Then they'll have their next jihad. The funny thing is that he's been the Fed cairman since 1987, so he wasn't a partisan hack through two Clinton administrations. The left fails to see the irony, social security was clearly in crisis when Clinton said it was, it was beyond dispute, and Greenspan was the best man for the job, or Clinton would have replaced him, we all know how he felt our pain and was only interested in doing what was best for America. He most certainly would not have reappointed him twice!Now that republicans are running things there is no crisis and Greenspan is incompetent.

RE: Clive "FITB" Tolson's p... (Below threshold)
AnonymousDrivel:

RE: Clive "FITB" Tolson's post (March 5, 2005 04:37 AM)

The Kosser Quick Response Damage Control Team (KOS Quick ReDaCT) has sprung into action:

From the Quick ReDaCT Manual*
Step 1 - Visit contrarian website
Step 2 - Flail arms and reflexively cry "hypocrisy"
Step 3 - Attempt redirect or change of subject
Step 4 - Initiate damage control canned response per group leader
Step 5a - (Theists) Pray opposition ignores witch hunt
Step 5b - (Secularists) Cuss and hope opposition ignores witch hunt

* Unable to confirm if this is the latest printing or not. Our compatriots on the inside have had some difficulty keeping up with rapidly changing tactics and releases. They report that internal Liberal chaos is palpable and will update as conditions settle or post-implosion should that inevitability arise ahead of anticipated Terminal Failure Date (TFD). Out.

Of course, during the 90's ... (Below threshold)
Steve L.:

Of course, during the 90's when Greenspan's monetary policies were helping to juice the Clinton economy, he was a genius.

Gee, who besides Clive thin... (Below threshold)
bullwinkle:

Gee, who besides Clive thinks it's a scurrilous attack to use one of the main of topics liberals used to campaign on as an example of one of the main topics that liberals campaigned on? If they didn't want it brought up why the hell did they bring it up?

Uhhh... his YOUNGER years?<... (Below threshold)
Beck:

Uhhh... his YOUNGER years?

Another response RE: Clive ... (Below threshold)
AnonymousDrivel:

Another response RE: Clive Tolson's post (March 5, 2005 04:37 AM)

You present "A clarification from Kos" to ameliorate the intitial response from rational people to witch hunting. OK, better late than never and possibly disingenuous, but let's move on. Another poster ("Texas Kos") suggested the same tempered response as KOS and proposed that "this should be a discussion of the merits of his ideas & not look like a smear campaign." Fair enough. What was the reply to such insolence?

[http://www dot dailykos dot com/comments/2005/3/4/132335/4297/110#110]

Why do we care? (3.75 / 4)

Texas Kos quoted: this should be a discussion of the merits of his ideas & not look like a smear campaign.

memekiller's tack: This is precisely how NOT to go about it. When do Republicans talk about ideas? People don't respond to ideas. The media doesn't do stories analyzing ideas. People respond to emotion and anger. Reporting that we're angry and running a smear job HELPS us. What's the worst that could happen? We nullify our image of being a bunch a wimps not able to do what it takes to "win the war on terror"?

Every time people start to get fired up, you can always count on a liberal to do everything within their power to snuff it out. Watching the current political discourse is a bit like watching a guy striking someone's with a sledge hammer, screaming, "What are you hitting me for? What are you hitting me for?" each time he strikes. And the liberal just sits there getting pulvarized, saying things like, "Would it make me a bad person if I hit back? If I just talked to them... Perhaps if I sit here, eventually the public will realize what a bastard he is and rally behind me!"

You know what? The public's never going to take pity on you. They're going to look at all the commotion and go, "Gosh, I wish those two would stop fighting!"

This is not a time for self reflection. The nation is at stake. If we're going to lose, I, for one, would rather go down with a hammer in my hand.

by memekiller on Fri Mar 4th, 2005 at 11:21:58 PST
[emphasis added by ADriveler]

Well, you can just see how well that went over. And if you're keeping score, the hostile approach is a desired MO since those that bothered to vote ranked memekiller's post 3.75 on a scale of 1-4. Does it reflect the entire readership? No, but apparently it represents quite a few since some posts siding with cautious investigations fared about the same or worse in response and weighting. Which group do you think will exert more investigative passion? With the bewitching hour upon them, moonbats overwhelm the more rational Liberal.

Right -- when he was only 7... (Below threshold)

Right -- when he was only 70.

Guilty! We loved Greenspan... (Below threshold)
Clive Tolson:

Guilty! We loved Greenspan during the booming Clinton era economy, we just have a problem now with him shilling for Bush's Social Security private accounts without making an attempt to be convincing. Now, the ballooning deficits is a concern for him, after endorsing tax cuts that helped create it.

He doesn't have the guts to admit that it will take more than deep budget cuts to address the matter, or oppose making the tax cuts permanent.

The Daily Kos quote I posted was the blog post's author, as it shows your desperation in contrast to go digging in the comment thread to make your point.

I also count 7 comments in response so far, ignoring my point about USA Next's attack on AARP.

Of course, back when they were supporting Bush's Drug Plan, they were not an anti-troop, pro-Gay Marriage, Liberal cabal?

OK, since you missed it the... (Below threshold)
bullwinkle:

OK, since you missed it the first time I'll paste it for you.

Gee, who besides Clive thinks it's a scurrilous attack to use one of the main of topics liberals used to campaign on as an example of one of the main topics that liberals campaigned on? If they didn't want it brought up why the hell did they bring it up?

Posted by: bullwinkle at March 5, 2005 07:37 AM

If someone calls me a conse... (Below threshold)
bullwinkle:

If someone calls me a conservative I don't deny it, I'm proud of it. If they say I support tax cuts I say "You're damn right I do!", if they say I think the war in Iraq is justified I agree wholeheartedly. You claim to be for gay marriage until someone points it out then them pointing it out is a scurrilous attack? Why aren't you proud of what you support? Is there something to be ashamed by supporting it? Until someone mentions it it's "We're here! We're queer! Get used to it!", now it's "We're here, we're not admitting, don't mention it." How exactly does that work?

Pretty weak, non-specific a... (Below threshold)
Clive Tolson:

Pretty weak, non-specific and unintelligible response, Bull! No wonder I overlooked it...

RE: Clive "FITB" Tolson's p... (Below threshold)
AnonymousDrivel:

RE: Clive "FITB" Tolson's post (March 5, 2005 09:11 AM)
The Daily Kos quote I posted was the blog post's author, as it shows your desperation in contrast to go digging in the comment thread to make your point.

Digging?! Yeah, with a fingernail. Kinda like scratching a dirty penny. They were the third and fourth posts from the top and took all of 10 seconds to find. Maybe you have the thread tiered differently in your browser.

Desperate? Wizbang reports a Kosser's (Liberal blogging corp) call to arms to smear á la Gannon and you scurry over here in a Greenspan thread and talk about a USA Next (NOT a Conservative blogging corp) campaign. Then you offer a correction to say how the goal has been clarified only to be presented with a refutation of that goal by your own fellow Kosser's who would ignore said clarification/plea.

Further, in order for the hypocrisy charge to stick, you'd need to provide evidence that this blog and it's bloggers have posted and advocated a concerted campaign to smear a Democrat, his/her spouse, and one or more degrees of personal association removed from the main target.

Try again, Mr. Desperate, and stay on topic.

Why does Clive's reply soun... (Below threshold)
bullwinkle:

Why does Clive's reply sound just like the replies we always get from Don Meyers? So tell me Clive, was gay marriage a relevant part of the liberal campaigns in 2004 or not? If it was how can it possibly be a scurrilous attack to associate the topic with liberals? Is that written to suit you? Perhaps another language since English doesn't seem to be strong suit? You can claim it was uspecific and unintelligible but I think most people would agree that it is neither and that you'd just prefer to not answer it, because any honest answer will be at odds with your laughable claim and any other answer will be obviously dishonest.

Oooh... The 'stay ... (Below threshold)
Clive Tolson:

Oooh...

The 'stay on topic' maneuver!! Wondering when I was going to see that. I can play that game...

USA Next is run by Conservatives, does have a blog and probably is incorporated. Can you provide proof AD that this is not true?

Oh, and the 'you can't prove I did it!' defense. You can paint all Liberals by what you dig up on Kos, but you're not responsible for the actions of groups aligned with the Republicans, and run by party members!

Perhaps another language... (Below threshold)
Clive Tolson:

Perhaps another language since English doesn't seem to be strong suit?...uspecific and unintelligible...

Spelling mistakes Bull? You're making this too easy!

Show me evidence of the AARP coming out in favor of Gay Marriage?

Stay On Topic!!

Perhapth if I add a little ... (Below threshold)
bullwinkle:

Perhapth if I add a little lithp? If AARP thupporth liberal polithies they thupport gay marriage by the exact thame reathoning that you leftiths can decide that attacking Greenthpanth wife ith fair game, you know, the one degree of theparation rule. Man, it'd really thuch to talk like thith for real. I'm using a thpecial limp-writhted typing style to ease you along too. Hope it workth!

RE: Clive "FITB" Tolson (Ma... (Below threshold)
AnonymousDrivel:

RE: Clive "FITB" Tolson (March 5, 2005 10:17 AM)
USA Next is run by Conservatives, does have a blog and probably is incorporated.

"...(Liberal blogging corp) call to arms...

Um, notice the word association here? It's not "corporation".

You can paint all Liberals by what you dig up on Kos...

Jeez CT, do you comprehend my responses? I said "Does it reflect the entire readership? No, but apparently it represents quite a few since some posts siding with cautious investigations fared about the same or worse in response and weighting. Which group do you think will exert more investigative passion? With the bewitching hour upon them, moonbats overwhelm the more rational Liberal."

This is tacit acknowledgement that not even all Kossers are off the beam, much less "all Liberals". Further, you've expanded and assigned to me some sphere of responsibility to even groups aligned with Republicans while I was limiting yours to moonbats. Now who is being more fair?

The point is, since you tend to stray, a not insignificant collection of Kossers have advocated a smear campaign and rejected calls to temper the investigation. The hypocrisy charge on your part fails because the members here assembled have not advocated Gannonesque rampages through individual's lives or their family's and friends'/associates' lives.

This really isn't that hard to follow.

Bull, I won't prolong your... (Below threshold)
Clive Tolson:

Bull, I won't prolong your embarrassment any further, but you might wanna look into spell check!

AD, your previous attempts to manufacture outrage against Chris Rock, Helen Thomas, Robert Byrd, Maureen Dowd and Howard Dean have all been miserable failures, dying slow deaths on the Wizbang vine!

Like I said, mining the Kos comment threads is futile, unless you plan to double post over there!

Enjoy your weekend!!

Let's see. I don't like the... (Below threshold)
julie:

Let's see. I don't like the AARP or Bush's Drug Plan. I don't give a damn about USA Next, or what ever it's called or Chris Rock.

And no one has to manufacture outrage against Helen Thomas, Robert Byrd, Maureen Dowd or Howard Dean, they've earned it.

Clive's definition of success requires attacking the spouse of someone you don't like or digging for unrelated and personal scandels.

This thread is about the Ko... (Below threshold)
shark:

This thread is about the Kos witch hunt. So fo course a KOS supporter wants to talk about AARP!

At the very BEST (for you) the most you can claim is some sort of "but mommy he did it also!" equivalence between the two.

How very sad that is what you're fighting for (and losing)

How many democrats kept poi... (Below threshold)

How many democrats kept pointing out Cheney's daughter was a lesbian, julie? I think we already knew that, and I feel for their family having to deal with the finger pointing. The mere fact of pointing it out meant that you think its a big deal.

Not to mention all the media digging up dirt on Jeb Bush's daughter. Remember when Teresa Heinz attacked Laura Bush claiming that she probably never worked a day in her life? Right, Teresa is one to talk...

Two points.Rand wa... (Below threshold)
Jonathan:

Two points.

Rand wasn't a libertarian writer, she was anti-libertarian because of its anarchy basis and went to great lengths to point that out for many years. Libertarians hi-jacked her material to prop up their politics.

Greenspan hasn't been a Randian or Objectivist for 40 years. He does however still favor free market economics, and supports many of Rand's economic ideas.

RE: Clive "FITB" Tolson's p... (Below threshold)
AnonymousDriveler:

RE: Clive "FITB" Tolson's post (March 5, 2005 11:41 AM)

Bull, I won't prolong your embarrassment any further, but you might wanna look into spell check!

That's your argument? Desperate.

AD, your previous attempts to manufacture outrage against Chris Rock, Helen Thomas, Robert Byrd, Maureen Dowd and Howard Dean have all been miserable failures, dying slow deaths on the Wizbang vine!

I'll address the first (for grins) of these "manufacture[d] outrage[s]" since you insist on ignoring the concerted Kossack attack on Greenspan and stay true to Step 3 from the aforementioned Kos Quick ReDaCT Manual.

After presenting the transcripted quotes at your request because "[you] didn't happen to see the broadcast. Could someone post some direct quotes as an example of this 'Bush Bashing'? What did Chris Rock actually say about our dear leader?", I added the following re Rock's humor:

Would you call these equally fair? I love political humor and it's important that we retain that sort of expression against authority. Call it a public check and balance or an escape mechanism innate in our country's success. However, don't you find the trivilizing of our soldiers' and others' deaths in Iraq with the bleeding GAP employees metaphor a bit tasteless if not offensive? It seems Rock could have done better since so many feel Bush is such an easy target for humor. Instead he presents another divisive retread of the Left's "no WMD" mantra. Mindful of his local audience, maybe that was wise. Mindless of his national one, maybe it wasn't.
Posted by: AnonymousDrivel at February 28, 2005 09:34 AM

So that's "manufacture[d] outrage" to you? The presentation of a contrarian opinion sans moonbat frothing? OK, fine, I'm manufacturing outrage [insert eyeroll]. Let me manufacture some more. For example, I'd say the sky is light blue and you'd say it's robin's egg blue. Horrors! A difference of opinion. Why it's medieval! Outrageous! I'd respond by pulling out a palette of colors as a reference and you'd talk about Indian tea. Talk about outrageous? I even did your research homework for you and this is the thanks I get? Where's the compassionate Liberalism?

I'll summarize your other references thusly: they have become, to a great extent, charicatures - mere shells of what they once were or were perceived to be. That didn't require a Gannonesque assault corp (not corporation) to do either, and I'd not advocate such a tactic. That you would to prevent a cause from "dying on the vine", as it were, is telling of your (and like-minded Kossers') desperation.

Like I said, mining the Kos comment threads is futile, unless you plan to double post over there!

While it would take but a thimble to expose moonbat treasures, I've had my fill for the month. My thimble runneth over with the frothing of bat.

Enjoy your weekend!!

You too. But before you go, would you care to address the continued advocacy of smearing to preserve grapes? My conjecture is that it only turns them sour and makes for poor whine, but maybe your investigations into Indian tea have revealed a new technique?

Greenspan Wary of Market... (Below threshold)

Greenspan Wary of Market Role in Social Security Rescue
By Amy Goldstein and Steven Mufson
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, January 21, 1999; Page A1
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/special/security/stories/retire012199.htm
"There is really no strong evidence to suggest any positive aspects of moving Social Security funds into equities," Greenspan, the chief architect of the government's last major revisions to Social Security 16 years ago, told members of the House Ways and Means Committee.

RE: Steve J.'s post (March ... (Below threshold)
AnonymousDrivel:

RE: Steve J.'s post (March 6, 2005 01:46 AM)

This topic is a bit off track but deserves a considered response.

I believe that quote from WaPo is a bit misleading which isn't unusual given Greenspan's typical statements. One need read his entire report to gather his message and not snip a singular line - remember context.

If you read Greenspan's official testimony from that date, you will not find any any mention of the movement of government foray into the equity market for SS funding, but Greenspan does address these very things a few days later. More on that shortly.

One really should read the entire WaPo article you referenced. It continued to add:

In his State of the Union speech Tuesday night, the president called for the government to help shore up the nation's Social Security system by pouring $2.7 trillion of federal budget surpluses into the program over the next 15 years, and investing up to one-quarter of that money in the stock market. Those steps would stretch the solvency of the program from 2032 to 2055, according to administration estimates. But private investments would be a marked departure from the current system, because the program until now has depended entirely on payroll taxes that are invested in safer but lower-earning Treasury securities.

Clinton also is proposing a new type of personal retirement accounts outside the Social Security program that would be designed to motivate Americans, particularly those with low incomes, to put aside more retirement money on their own. He asked Congress to devote $500 billion over 15 years to give a lump sum to anyone who opened such an account and to help match a portion of the money that people were willing to add to those accounts over time.

...

Greenspan offered enthusiastic praise for Clinton's idea of devoting much of projected federal budget surpluses to Social Security but disparaged the prospect of investing some of those funds in the stock market. Political temptations, he said, probably would motivate certain types of investments over others, thus basing decisions on considerations other than the best rates of return. As a result, he said, the government would probably earn less on its equity investments than the White House predicts.

Greenspan supported the "surplus" during boom time to boost SS reserves and a new, private investment plan apart from the Fed. Greenspan was concerned about a different aspect which was the Fed investing in equities that would be unduly influenced by politicians, but he was not against equities per se.

It would be instructive to read more testimony, as I mentioned earlier, to grasp Greenspan's intent. Check out his testimony a mere 8 days later to address SS specifically and not as a throwaway line:

Testimony of Chairman Alan Greenspan
Social security

Before the Committee on the Budget, U.S. Senate
January 28, 1999

The dramatic increase in the ratio of retirees to workers that is projected, as the baby boomers move to retirement and enjoy ever greater longevity, makes our current pay-as-you-go social security system unsustainable. Furthermore, the broad support for social security appears destined to fade as the implications of its current form of financing become increasingly apparent. To date, with the ratio of retirees to workers having been relatively low, workers have not considered it a burden to share the goods and services they produce with retirees. The rising birth rate after World War II, which, in due course, lowered the ratio of retirees to workers, helped make the social security program exceptionally popular, even among those paying the taxes to support it.

...

Investing a portion of the social security trust fund assets in equities, as the Administration and others have proposed, would arguably put at risk the efficiency of our capital markets and thus, our economy. Even with Herculean efforts, I doubt if it would be feasible to insulate, over the long run, the trust funds from political pressures--direct and indirect--to allocate capital to less than its most productive use.

The experience of public pension funds seems to bear this out. Although relevant comparisons to private plans are difficult to construct, there is evidence that the average rate of return on state and local pension funds tends to be lower than the return realized on comparable private pension funds, other pooled investments, and market indexes...

One needs to read the entire report to grasp the whole enchilada. The take away message I hoped to present was that Greenspan under Clinton's tenure knew SS was in trouble and was considering alternatives to its modifications. He wanted a piece of the projected (and expectedly higher) revenues from a growing economy to be set aside for that growing Federal obligation. He had concerns about how best to escape the historical mold of financing SS and how to successfully transition to equity markets and/or personal accounts since current demographic trends indicated a coming shortfall. Greenspan was further concerned that politics would interfere detrimentally to the proper distribution of monies obligated by the federal mandates for retirees. He felt equities and PSAs would need serious review but was not wholly against them.

But there's more to add from much earlier testimony:

Testimony of Chairman Alan Greenspan
Social security

Before the Task Force on Social Security of the Committee on the Budget,
U.S. Senate
November 20, 1997

I am pleased to appear here today to discuss one of our nation's most pressing challenges: putting social security's Old-Age and Survivors Insurance program on a sound financial footing for the twenty-first century. It has become conventional wisdom that the social security system, as currently constructed, will not be fully viable after the baby boom generation starts to retire. The most recent report by the social security trustees projected that the trust funds of the system will grow over approximately the next fifteen years. However, beginning in the year 2014, the annual expected costs of the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance program are projected to exceed annual earmarked tax receipts, and the subsequent deficits are projected to deplete the trust funds by the year 2031.

...

Accordingly, short of a far more general reform of the system, there are a number of initiatives, at a minimum, that should be addressed. As I argued at length during the Social Security Commission deliberations of 1983, with only modest effect, some delaying of the age of eligibility for retirement benefits is becoming increasingly pressing. For example, adjusting the full-benefits retirement age further to keep pace with increases in life expectancy in a way that would keep the ratio of retirement years to expected life span approximately constant would significantly narrow the funding gap. Such an initiative would become easier to implement as fewer and fewer of our older citizens retire from physically arduous work. Hopefully, other modifications to social security, such as improved cost-of-living indexing, will be instituted.

There are a number of broader reform initiatives that, through the process of privatization, could increase domestic saving rates. Given the considerable stakes involved, these are clearly worthy of intensive evaluation. Perhaps the strongest argument for privatization is that replacing the current underfunded system with a fully funded one could boost domestic saving. But, we must remember that it is because privatization plans might increase savings that they are potentially viable, not because of their particular form of financing.

...

Ultimately, of course, even under a gradual transition, the system would be almost fully privatized. I say almost because I presume Congress would provide some form of assistance to those who through investment imprudence or unforeseen events had retirement benefits below a certain level perceived as an absolute minimum. Needless to say such a new entitlement would have to be rigorously delimited because political pressures to increase it could be overwhelming.

Despite all of these complications, in the broader scheme of things, the types of changes that will be required to restore fiscal balance to our social security accounts are significant but manageable. More important, most entail changes that are less unsettling if they are enacted soon, even if their effects are significantly delayed, rather than waiting five or ten years or longer for legislation. We owe it to those who will retire after the turn of the century to be given sufficient advance notice to make what alterations in retirement planning may be required. If we procrastinate too long, the adjustments could be truly wrenching. Our senior citizens, both current and future, deserve better.

These statements speak for themselves and are quite self-explanatory. Greenspan has been concerned with the current SS model since at least 1983 and is waving red flags with both hands that SS needs reform, needs it now, that initiatives such as privatization plans should be considered, and that to delay would cause "truly wrenching" adjustments.

Everyone knows that SS is approaching the apocalypse and Greenspan has been trying to get attention for years but it has been political suicide for his bosses to do anything concrete. Well, now we have both Clinton and Bush with the same Fed Chairman preaching the same message... fix the sinking ship. That Bush's administration is receptive to the Clinton administration's PSA concept is a tribute to both men. I implore everyone to read all of the associated links to get the whole picture as painted by Greenspan under both Clinton and Bush. It is important.




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