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Matthew Hoy currently works as a metro page designer at the San Diego Union-Tribune.

The opinions presented here do not represent those of the Union-Tribune and are solely those of the author.

If you have any opinions or comments, please e-mail the author at: hoystory -at- cox -dot- net.

Dec. 7, 2001
Christian Coalition Challenged
Hoystory interviews al Qaeda
Fisking Fritz
Politicizing Prescription Drugs

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Saturday, February 05, 2005
Don't you hate it when that happens?: Democrats have often invoked the sainted name of FDR whenever it seems most convenient. When President Bush, in the State of the Union address, proposed partial privatization of Social Security -- FDR's most enduring accomplishment (and a Ponzi scheme) -- the Democrats were quick to rally around a statue of their hero.

But, there's a problem with that.

"In the important field of security for our old people, it seems necessary to adopt three principles: First, noncontributory old-age pensions for those who are now too old to build up their own insurance. It is, of course, clear that for perhaps 30 years to come funds will have to be provided by the States and the Federal Government to meet these pensions. Second, compulsory contributory annuities that in time will establish a self-supporting system for those now young and for future generations. Third, voluntary contributory annuities by which individual initiative can increase the annual amounts received in old age. It is proposed that the Federal Government assume one-half of the cost of the old-age pension plan, which ought ultimately to be supplanted by self-supporting annuity plans."

Yep, that was in FDR's message to Congress on Jan. 17, 1935.


1:41 PM

This is something that needs to get a lot more attention. A few others have found this item, and as I said in a post on my site, Republicans would be foolish not to use this in framing the history of the idea of personal accounts.

By the way, at the time it was proposed, annuities were the only game in town. No one was going to propose that ordinary individuals invest in stocks, partly because of the financial meltdown, but also because it was frightfully expensive for small investors at the time. Today it's a totally different world.
Ah, but there's a problem. "Voluntary contributory annuities" and private accounts are two different things. Go here: http://www.ssa.gov/history/voluntaryannuities.html and check out #3, "A System of Voluntary Old Age Annuities." It's a short definition actually provided by the U.S. gov't.: "The Administration also proposed a program of voluntary old-age annuities. These were to be insurance-type annuities, issued by the government, to supplement the benefits contemplated under the mandatory part of the program, or to provide a basic annuity to workers not covered under the mandatory program." That, friends, is what FDR was talking about at the time. Hume and others are just spinning. Err.... lying.

If you scroll down in the link, it gets better. You'll see the "annuities" described in 1935 are essentially the government offering pension insurance. That's not it exactly but it's damn close. "...a supplement to the compulsory plan contemplates that the Government shall sell to individuals, on a cost basis, deferred life annuities similar to those issued by commercial insurance companies..."

And please note, it does not mention private accounts. This is totally different and it's intellectually dishonest to continue pretending FDR had private accounts in mind.

Don't you hate it when THAT happens? We done here?
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