come again?

The NYT editorial board takes a gander at the emerging but still vague details of Bush’s social security privatization plan. The best part:

Your Social Security benefit would be reduced, dollar for dollar, by the amount of money you deposit into your private account and an additional charge amounting to 3 percent plus the rate of inflation. All the money that is drained off would presumably go to pay for the enormous upfront government borrowing - $4.5 trillion over the next 20 years - that privatization would require.

That means people whose private accounts steadily earned three percentage points over inflation throughout their working lives would wind up with exactly what they would have gotten if Social Security remained untouched. Anyone who earned less than that would end up with less than is offered by the current system. When asked what would happen to the people who would not have enough income to avoid poverty, the administration official said, “I’m not sure if I’m understanding your question.”