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Friday, April 08, 2005

Cato Set to Launch Ad Campaign on Social Security Reform

News from Cato on Social Security. First, the headline says they are set to launch the ads, but the release of the five misleading radio ads has already occurred:

Cato Institute Launches Radio Campaign

The Cato Institute has launched a radio advertising campaign advocating Social Security reform. The $125,000 campaign consists of five radio commercials that will run in Washington, D.C. The spots focus on aspects of personal retirement accounts that have gone largely ignored thus far in the debate over Social Security reform.

• The first ad, "Opportunity" [mp3, 959kb], changes the focus of the debate from Social Security solvency to ownership through personal retirement accounts.
• The second spot, "Right to Social Security" [mp3, 970kb], dispels the myth that Social Security benefits are guaranteed.
• The third ad, "Risk" [mp3, 925kb], confronts the idea that personal retirement accounts are risky.
• The fourth ad, "Easy Fix" [mp3, 963kb], points out the folly in simply raising taxes or cutting benefits to "save" Social Security.
• The fifth spot, "Wealth Gap" [mp3, 933kb], shows how personal retirement accounts can help reduce the gap between rich and poor.

Help ensure Cato's radio campaign gets heard far and wide. Donate today to keep us on the air.

In case you are wondering, I'm not pulling out my wallet.

Think about the first ad. Of course they want to change the debate from solvency to something else. It’s odd to sell reform with the idea that solvency is at risk, then try and promote change by moving the debate away from the main thrust of the argument. Why they want to move the debate is obvious. Privatization and solvency are separate issues, and personal accounts don’t help with solvency.

The rest of the ads are equally deceptive or just plain wrong. Do you really believe, as it says in ad five, that this will transfer wealth from rich to poor?

Here’s more from the same page:

House Republican Conference Chairman Deborah Pryce of Ohio said she still is distilling mostly positive reports from members about their Social Security events over the break and trying to decide what's next...

Because of those "mostly positive reports" we hear today that:

GOP Senators Reconsider Personal Accounts
AP Special Correspondent

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Senate Republicans are considering temporarily sidetracking President Bush's plan for personal investment accounts under Social Security, hoping Democrats will then join compromise talks on legislation to restore the program's solvency...

But CATO believes:

Senate Republicans would make a grave error if they followed a plan the Associated Press reports they have discussed privately as a possibility...

This looks like the start of infighting making it appear that the wheels are coming off the administration’s Social Security privatization proposal.

My own view is that, as much as I’d like to believe it’s time to stick a fork in the privatization proposal, we should be careful of complacency. There is talk of legislation this summer so there is still a belief that given enough time, and particularly if the opposition begins to wane after throwing its best shots over the last few months, privatization can still be pushed through. First sell that there is a crisis, then sell privatization as the solution.

So long as we keep diligently promoting the truth that will be tough for them to do, but this isn’t over and we need to meet disinformation with the facts at every turn.

    Posted by on Friday, April 8, 2005 at 09:09 AM in Economics, Social Security | Permalink  TrackBack (0)  Comments (0)


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