The White House, as linked on the Drudge Report, angrily explains today what a lie it is, per sources such as my previous post (quoting a high Administration official, to say that the Bush Social Security plan would take back investment returns from private account holders up to 3% annually, based on the funds they diverted.
Au contraire, the White House says, "Reality: Under President Bush's plan, participants would get EVERY SINGLE PENNY OF THEIR RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS -- BOTH the PRINCIPAL AND INTEREST."
To quote a bit more from the White House press statement:
"--For example, a worker who decides against taking a personal account might, in the future, get $15,000 annually in benefits from the traditional system, reformed to be permanently sustainable.
"--Another young worker could choose to invest in a personal retirement account. In exchange for the right to get the account, he gives up benefits from the traditional system. For example, he might give up one-third of those future government benefits, and be entitled to receive $10,000 annually from the traditional system.
"--A personal retirement account would belong entirely to the worker. If the account earns a 3% real rate of return - the worker would be right back where he started - at $15,000 of combined benefits per year."
Hold on, boys. The system you so indignantly distinguish from the one I described is in fact arithmetically equivalent to it, under ALL possible circumstances. It cannot possible make a penny's worth of difference whether you let people (a) keep the "$15,000 annually ... reformed to be permanently sustainable," while taking away retirement-account benefits up to 3% of the diverted payroll taxes a year, or (b) ket them keep their entire retirement accounts but take away an amount of traditional benefits equal to the same 3% per year.
Still, if it makes you happier to describe this as people's keeping "EVERY SINGLE PENNY OF THEIR RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS -- BOTH the PRINCIPAL AND INTEREST," while merely losing traditional benefits, I guess that going along with your preferred description is the least we can do for you, bubbalahs.
By the way, guys, could you help me with a small matter? I know you probably don't want to pay me for this blog, despite the Administration's largesse towards various journalists, given the sorts of things I say. But if you could see your way to paying me an amount equivalent to what you would pay me if you were paying me, that would be great. You see, I got expenses. And remember: you won't actually be paying me for anything. You will just be paying me the same amount as you would pay me if you were paying me.