What kind of intellectual vacuum do you need to live in to make this case? Here it is.
- Social security will go bankrupt when the social security trust fund is depleted.
- The trust fund is really just a pile of IOUs anyway.
- To save social security we need to privatize it and let folks invest their social security payments in the stock market.
- Privatizing social security costs a lot of money.
- The solution is to fund privatization by using the social security trust fund surplus - the money represented by those IOUs.
Did you follow that? We need reform because the trust fund isn't solvent and it's not real money anyway so let's use the money represented by the trust fund to pay to privatize social security. And the privatization would end when the surplus ended, providing a very short window for the program (although we all know how much the Republicans like passing laws that expire as a strategy for permanent laws - they just extend the expiration date again and again).
And note, this plan does nothing to address the actual solvency issue - it just redirects the spending of surplus dollars from other programs. The "solution" doesn't solve anything except the impasse over how to fund privatization. Of course, we'd see huge cuts in other programs that are currently funded with the surplus, but hey, who cares? It's not like the money is going towards essential programs like health care for the poor or anything.... except it is.
This proposal has all the hallmarks of a political maneuver designed not to solve any real problems, but to support an ideological position (privatization) and to undermine the opposition (Dems opposed to privacy and Pubs concerned about the deficit).
We'll being hearing grand announcements about the willingness of Pubs to compromise and great condemnations about the Democrats unwillingness to propose solutions. But the bottom line here is that the Pubs aren't compromising - they're still chasing privatization without addressing solvency. And the Dems aren't oppositional simply because they won't propose a program that supports the conservative ideological demand to privatize social security.
If the Republicans are serious in their claims that social security faces insolvency or bankruptcy, that there's a crisis, they'll propose a solution to that problem instead of ignoring while they chase their ideological dream of privatization.