Sunday, April 24, 2005

Sunday's Online WSJ: Social Security is about Liberty and Ownership

OpinionJournal: "You want to get people excited about personal accounts? Tell them about the 1960 Supreme Court case Flemming v. Nestor, which explicitly says Americans have no ownership rights to the money they pay into Social Security. It is, the court ruled, a social program of Congress with absolutely no contractual obligations. What you get back at retirement is entirely up to the 535 members of Congress. Where's the dignity in that?... Seriously, this should be an emotional issue about liberty and opportunity, not solvency dates...

Personal accounts are the right thing to do whether Social Security is solvent or not. Solvency discussions are boring, not to say uninspiring. Ownership and inheritability are inspiring. The fact that personal accounts help traditional Democratic constituents even more than Republicans should be another opportunity to turn debate around. Sending people out with charts and figures will achieve little. Returning to the first principles of liberty and opportunity--the true reasons to support personal accounts--will work."

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