Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Libertarians Finally Get Credit On Social Security 

Jeffrey Birnbaum of the Washington Post traces the origins of the public policy proposal to privatize social security from an idea contained in a law school paper by Peter Ferrara to an issue at the top of President Bush's agenda. The engine behind the initiative, of course, is Ed Crane and the work of the Cato Institute. From the article:

Twenty-five years ago, Peter J. Ferrara was a Harvard Law School student with
what he called "the craziest idea in the world." In a paper he wrote before
graduating, he suggested converting the government-run Social Security program
into a web of private investments.

The paper caught the eye of Edward H. Crane, a former head of the Libertarian Party who had recently started the Cato Institute, which has a stated mission of encouraging "limited government." To him, Ferrara's idea wasn't crazy at all, but a way to challenge Washington's largest and most revered social program.

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