Monday, January 31, 2005

Democrats Oppose Base on Social Security

Donald Lambro has a column in The Washington Times entitled "Minorities support Bush's plan, polls find" Link.
Political pollsters say Democratic leaders risk alienating strategic parts of their party's base who support President Bush's plan to let workers invest a portion of their Social Security payroll taxes in stocks or bonds.(...)

(P)ollsters who closely track how Mr. Bush's Social Security investment proposal plays with the American people say that his reform cuts across every demographic and political line, appealing especially to many Hispanics, blacks and Asians who make up a large part of the Democrats' political base of support.
"Democrats are missing the boat on a number of issues that can be of appeal to their own base. On Social Security reform, you are looking at younger voters, union members and minorities that find this idea popular," said pollster John Zogby, who has done numerous polls on private Social Security investment plans over the past several years.
"The Democrats are very busy turning 48 percent of the vote into a free fall, and that's not easy to do. They are not talking to their own base, let alone to the rest of middle America," he said.
Numerous polls over the years, and Mr. Zogby's latest national poll released last week, show that the core of the president's plan is popular among many traditionally Democratic voting blocs. Last week's poll by Zogby International found that 30 percent of all Democrats like the idea.
Support among minorities is even greater. An Annenberg poll in December showed that 54 percent of Hispanics supported the concept of "allowing workers to invest Social Security funds in the stock market."
More than 51 percent of black voters, the Democrats' most loyal constituency, say they would like to privately invest as much as half of the payroll tax in individual accounts, according to Mr. Zogby.

In today's pay-as-you-go Social Security system, workers who die young overpay to subsidize workers who live long. When they die, all claims die with them, and nothing of their lifelong payments into the system is passed on to their children. Check the actuarial tables. Blacks, especially Black males, die a lot younger on average than whites.

Is this a coincidence? When FDR was designing the program, the largest constituency in the Democratic Party, and one whose support was absolutely needed to get the program passed, were the Jim Crow Southerners. It was a lot easier to get their votes with a program that amounted to a wealth transfer that, on average, taxed Blacks to give money to Whites.


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