In today's WaPo, Ruth Marcus tries to put herself back into "journalistic symmetry" after having sharply criticizing McCain for his fallacious ads last week by misrepresenting Obama's and McCain's (and more importantly, Bush's) positions on Social Security. She declares that Obama is lying to old people in Miami that privatizing Social Security, which McCain has supported as recently as this Sunday will hurt their pensions, citing the never-quite-fully-explicated "plan" that Bush put forward in 2005 and that McCain supported.
Now, it is true that that plan claimed it would not cut current benefits of current retirees. However, it would start removing revenues from the system to go into the private accounts of young people, with about a six-year window of people in their 40s being targeted to get neither private accounts, but definite cuts in their benefits. There are two problems here.
One is that even though there would be no immediate cuts in benefits, taking away revenues would weaken the system and increase the likelihood of cuts being imposed in the future, quite possibly on people currently receiving benefits. The second is the ongoing hypocrisy of declaring that the future economy is bleak and that therefore the future of social security revenues is bleak, even as in a majority of years in the past decade the revenues did better than the "low cost projection" that has the system never running a deficit, much less going "bankrupt," while on the other hand the stock market is supposed to perform wonders so as to provide these fabulous returns on private accounts.
In any case, Marcus is simply off base in going after Obama. Privatizing Social Security does threaten the system by reducing its revenues, thereby increasing the dangers for current recipients down the road, and his formulation in Miami was about what would have been the case if those seniors did have their Social Security in private accounts, which is accurate.