Category Archives: Social Security

Where’s the Obama-Line?

That Obama’s talk is disturbing is undeniable. He is insisting that SocSec has to be “reformed” because it’s the “fiscally responsible” course of action. The plan they’re keying on is all about cutting benefits. Of course. Continue reading

Credit Where Credit Is Due

Yah gotta love the headline:

Bush Opening Social Security Debate Without Saying Much

So at least one major US paper has finally caught onto the act and isn’t afraid to say so. Dig:

Bush is promising to protect existing benefits for current retirees and others who will soon retire, while holding the line on the paycheck deductions that finance Social Security. But he is reiterating his desire to let younger workers begin using for private investment some of the money they pay to the government for the program.Purposefully left unanswered are the most divisive questions — such as what fraction of a worker’s payroll taxes could go into a private investment account instead of the Social Security trust fund, how the government would pay the estimated $1 trillion in transition costs, and how the government would protect retirees whose investments did not turn out well.

Many experts, including some conservatives, also think any meaningful privatization plan would eventually involve some combination of reduced benefits and higher worker contributions. Bush is expected to continue to skirt that issue as well.

Confronting such matters, Republican strategists fear, could make Bush and other GOP candidates vulnerable to attacks in key states such as Florida, where senior voters have a history of punishing candidates who talk of changing Social Security.

“What they’re afraid of is that they’d embrace a particular idea and the other side will demagogue the hell out of it,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who has introduced legislation to create private accounts based largely on the recommendations of a commission appointed in 2001 by Bush. Graham is working closely with the White House on the issue. (emphasis added)

Bullshit, Lindsey. What they’re afraid of–what they know–is that if the people ever figure out what they’re really planning to do, the people will have a goddam fit and throw them out faster than Bill O’Reilly can say ‘loony liberal traitors’. The flat fact is, they don’t dare. The seniors would raise hell, the soccer moms would KarPool for Kerry on election day, and 2/3 of the country would react with stunned disbelief followed by outrage. The only reason they’ve survived this long is because they’ve been governing by secret fiat and a lazy corporate press let them get away with it.

What happens if the lazy corporate press wakes up? Curtains, baby, curtains. It’s all over but the wailing and gnashing of conservative teeth.

All Hail the Los Angeles Times!

(Now if only the NYT, WaPo, and the major networks would get a clue….)

Don’t Let Them Destroy Social Security!

 (FITE Newsletter)
by Charles Palson

After Federal Reserve Chairman Allan Greenspan recommended cuts in social security, the media repeated it as if the question was cutting or not cutting. They failed to mention that the money left in the social security “trust fund” at the beginning of Bush’s term has been stolen outright TO FUND THE GENEROUS TAX CUTS FOR THE ULTRA RICH. The so-called trust fund, by the way never really existed. Instead of collecting interest in the treasury, politicians used it for their own purposes.

These are the facts everyone should know:

* During Bush’s presidential campaign, some feared he would pay for the tax cuts with social security funds. He calmed these fears by saying “In my economic plan, more than $2 trillion of the fed surplus is locked away for social security… For years, politicians have dipped into the Trust Fund to pay for more spending… I will stop it.”

* Two months after he took office, he again calmed fears, promising to keep the funds in the “lockbox.”

* The Wall Street Journal had already concluded he was lying and would “use social security surpluses.. to fund the government for the next two years, and to spend well over $100 billion on ss funds in each of the following three years.”

* On June 7, 2001, Congress passed his tax cut package that radically cut taxes of the rich. The only way keep government going after such a huge cut in revenues was to raid the social security “lockbox.”

* Secretary of the Treasury O’Neill said 12 days later that “I come to you as managing trustee of social security. Today we have no assets in the social security trust fund.” This was said in front of the Coalition for American Financial Security. It now wants to rake in more profits by pushing legislation that would allow people to invest their savings in special stock market accounts. As we noted in our How The Ultra Rich Embezzled America (www.FairnessInTaxes.org), the stock market has been used by the very same people to embezzle trillions of dollars of our savings. They stole from the lockbox, and they will steal again from the stock market.

The only fair solution is to roll back the tax cuts. If it can’t be done retroactively, then ratchet up the marginal tax rates on the rich to ultra high levels for a few years. Call your elected representatives about this.

(Phaedrus has been all over this for days. Check it out.)