Social Security
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Tony Snow: Case Study for Social Democracy

Daniel Gross points out that a Press Secretary who has never funded his 401(k) is a powerful argument for social democracy--and against the "ownership society":

Daniel Gross: May 07, 2006 - May 13, 2006 Archives: OWNERSHIP SOCIETY: Tony Snow, President Bush's new spokesman, reveals today that he's not quite on board with this whole ownership society thing. Via Talkingpointsmemo:

TONY SNOW: No. As a matter of fact, I was even too dopey to get in on a 401(k). So there is actually no FOX pension. The only media pension I have is through AFTRA.

I'd bet my weekly wages against his that he hasn't opened a health savings account either.

Snow is 50, and worked at Fox since at least 1996. So in his prime years of earnings he didn't bother to start a 401(K), even though it was likely subsidized by his employer. Oh, and AFTRA, of course, is a union that runs one of those old-fashioned defined benefits plans that are slowly disappearing.

Of course, we should expect to hear lots from Snow in the coming months about how important it is for people to save for their own retirements via 401(Ks) and not to rely on old paternalistic solutions like defined-benefit pension plans or Social Security.