Trust Me

From Holden:

Billmon caught the president using the verboten words “private accounts” to describe the keystone of his plan to demolish Social Security during a gab-fest in Florida last week.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, it’s a very important point she made. The private account — the private retirement accounts alone don’t fix Social Security. They are part of a larger solution. And that’s what’s important to know. It’s just the fact that you can earn better rates of return within a private account that it makes it — that it helps mitigate the other changes in the system that will be necessary to eradicate the red ink.

Having read the same transcript over the weekend without catching Chimpy’s slip I kicked myself. Then I went back to the transcript again where I found another interesting exchange.

Q: And then, my question is, for the three or four options that will be available, will those options be federally-run options? Or will they be from like commercial providers, say, like Fidelity Investments?

THE PRESIDENT: No, no, that’s a great question. They’ll be from providers. We don’t want the federal government making stocks and bond decisions. (Applause.) They’ll be private — private sector, people who get paid to do this. And the fees, by the way, will be — we’ll make sure that you don’t get gouged. I mean, obviously, what we want is people’s money going into their personal account, not going into big fee structures. And so there will be a — it will be regulated to that extent. In other words, there will a certain sense of regulation, you can only invest in certain kinds of stocks and bonds to be — and the funds will be managed by people whose job it is to manage them, outside of the government.

Oh, no, we wouldn’t want you to be gouged, heaven forbid.

Seriously, though, I can’t recall any discussion of what fees would be charged and how they might eat into a fella’ private account. But somehow I don’t trust Chimpy to protect me from investment fund gougers.

Here are some more fun quotes from you president’s visit with the gullible in Tampa.

MR. HUERTAS: Normally, there’s a manager, right, that is the finance manager that controls the funds. All you need to do is decide how much money you want to put on each account. And of course, there’s always a choice of — whether you are younger, you usually put more money on the risky finances and less money on the other one. When you are older, like I’m getting, I will put less money on those risky — (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: I wish I was your old. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: Very good. Nice long word, multi-tasking. Very good. (Laughter.) Inject a little intellectual strength here in this conversation.

THE PRESIDENT: There are 27-year-olders all over the country saying, is the system going to be there, and what are you going to do about it? Go ahead. (Laughter.) Not, what are you going to do about it; what I’m going to do about it. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: You can start by putting $1,000 aside, or up to 4 percent, which is ever less…