The Washington Post -- finally! -- does a story taking apart one of Bush's privatization pitches, that his plan is modeled on the successful Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) used by millions of federal workers.
Except it's not. Modeled on it, that is. You'll already be familiar with some of the arguments in the story (you read it here), but I think this passage captures the spirit nicely:
For most federal employees, the TSP serves as one leg of a "three-legged stool" of retirement income; the other two are the traditional Social Security benefit and a government pension. But because many businesses no longer offer defined-benefit pensions, many employees in the private sector have only a two-legged stool -- their 401(k) plan plus Social Security.
The money that workers divert to Bush's personal accounts, plus 3 percent interest, would come out of their guaranteed Social Security benefit. So, in effect, the president would be shaving down one of the legs and hoping that a new one -- the individual account -- would grow at least enough to compensate for the loss.
"It's not really like TSP at all," said James Sauber, chairman of the Employee Thrift Advisory Council, a 15-member panel of representatives from federal labor and managerial organizations. "He's proposing to weaken one leg of the stool to fund another leg of the stool."