Social Security

Bush Threatens Social Security
Social Security

Mike Hersh writes: "Bush claims he won't 'privatize' Social Security, opting for the kinder, gentler term 'modernize.' Since we can't take Bush as his word, we have to judge him by his actions. When Bush took office he reversed the Clinton/Gore policies which were paying down our debt. Throwing away bipartisan consensus in favor of fiscal responsibility, Bush gave away our surplus - almost entirely to elite special interests which had backed his and his father's various candidacies. Rather than reserve at least some of the surplus to shoring up Social Security as he'd promised, Bush raided the Treasury and the Social Security Trust Fund. These are undisputed facts."

Greenspan to Baby Boomers: Let 'em Eat Cake - the Cake Crumbs Left by Greenspan and His NeoCon Cronies
Social Security

What a miserable old son-of-a-b*tch! Alan Greenspan, who is older than Methuselah if looks are any indication, has already gotten his piece of the pie -as have all his aging NeoCon cronies. They've reaped and ripped off all the benefits the system had for themselves. But now Greenspan has the gall to warn that benefits for the upcoming generation of retirees must be trimmed! Why? Because now that Greenspan and the NeoCon hordes finished raiding America's coffers, there's just not enough $ left. Says Greenspan: "As a nation, we owe it to our retirees to promise only the benefits that can be delivered." Yeah, Al, let 'em eat cake! The cake crumbs left behind by you and your pals. But don't worry, your "media point woman" wife Andrea Mitchell and her cronies at NBC will make sure that the story is spun so it looks like you're only doing "what's best for the country."

Greenspan Again Attacks Social Security
Social Security

AP: "Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said Thursday that tax increases probably will be needed in combination with benefit cuts to close the massive funding gap faced by Social Security. For the good of the economy, he said, Congress needs to get most of the savings by trimming benefits ...On Thursday, Greenspan said he believed that a tax increase would be needed to close the funding gap in Social Security. But he urged Congress to do as much as possible first by trimming benefits because of the harm higher taxes would have on the economy."

Greenspan 'Rash and Wrong' on Social Security Deficit, Says Former House Aging Committee Staff Director
Social Security

US Newswire report: "Bob Weiner, former chief of staff of the House Aging Committee asserts that 'Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan's testimony today calling for reduced social security benefits is rash and wrong and based on an incorrect myth of a Social Security deficit.' Weiner points out that 'the Trust Fund is solvent for 39 years -- the trustees even added a year to the projected solvency last year -- and that baby boomers aren't booming with babies themselves, having record low births. In addition, people are working longer, paying into the system. The fund will actually be even more solvent with fewer withdrawals down the road.' Weiner asserts that 'what many political leaders and 'flamethrowers' are actually doing -- now uncharacteristically including Greenspan -- is using solvent Social Security money to reduce the overall federal deficit.'"

For the Second Time, Greenspan Urges Social Security Cuts
Social Security

"Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, stepping into the politically charged debate over Social Security, said Wednesday the country can't afford the benefits currently promised to the baby boom generation. He urged Congress to trim those benefits to get control of soaring budget deficits, which he said threatened a 'very debilitating' rise in interest rates in coming years... The central bank chairman also repeated his view that Bush's tax cuts should be made permanent to bolster economic growth. He said the estimated $1 trillion cost should be paid for, preferably, with spending cuts so the deficit would not be worsened... Greenspan said at some point the country needed to face the fact that the government has promised more in entitlement benefits than it can afford to pay. He said the problem was even worse for Medicare because it was impossible to estimate what types of costly medical advances will be available in coming years."

Bush Plans Destruction of Social Security Next
Social Security

The ink has barely dried on MediFraud, but America's seniors ain't seen nothin' yet. "Bush is completing plans to campaign next year for a restructuring of Social Security, a potentially divisive drive that he believes is 'a winning issue' for Republicans - and for his own legacy... Recently, Bush spoke with Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) about plans to overhaul Social Security, describing it as 'a winning issue,' Graham said in an interview last week. Working with the White House Office of Legislative Affairs, Graham drafted and recently introduced a bill to create the personal investment accounts." It's time for ALL Dems to say NO to Social Security Privitization!

If He Gets a 2nd Term, Bush Will Cut Social Security and Medicare -- To Cover His Tax Cuts for the Wealthy
Social Security

"Bush has yet to say the words, but high administration officials acknowledge that gathering fiscal problems will require rewriting the laws that promise guaranteed levels of federal benefits to seniors under Medicare and Social Security. Changes in both retirement programs are unavoidable, officials assert. The chief reason: The full, delayed impact of Bush's tax cuts will hit the Treasury precisely when the retirement of millions of baby boomers begins to send seniors' benefit costs through the roof. 'In the long run, Social Security cannot meet its commitments,' Josh Bolten, director of Bush's Office of Management and Budget, said in a recent public appearance... Groups seeking to defend Social Security and Medicare benefit levels say the administration is playing down future cuts to avoid the political consequences for as long as possible. "I think we are going to see an attack on entitlements after the election," said Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA."

Bush's Budget Declares War on Social Security and Medicare
Social Security

Reviewing Bush's budget, Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) "couldn't believe what he was seeing: mushrooming deficits that peak just when the baby-boom generation begins to retire. That means government spending on Social Security and Medicare will increase when government debt is at its highest. 'It is nuts, stone-cold nuts. And they're not nuts, and they're not stupid. They're smart people, and they know... the deficit will explode when federal expenditures peak... The only rationale for what they're doing is... to fundamentally gut Social Security and Medicare.' Conrad is convinced that the debt Bush is piling up will threaten the country's long-term economic security, and that Social Security and Medicare will not survive. Privately, Republicans say Conrad is right... To sustain benefits would require an unprecedented tax increase to 30% of GDP (it's now 20%). 'Or we'll have to eliminate the rest of government as we know it. This is breathtaking; this is radical, radical stuff.'"

Social Security Privatization is a Sleeper Issue Riddled with Dangers - And Big Campaign Contributions
Social Security

The Campaign for America's Future issued a special report on Social Security in the 2002 Elections concluding that: "1) Privatizers who got themselves elected did so by rejecting privatization - and by lying about the real costs of carving private accounts out of Social Security; 2) A grass roots citizen crusade made privatization too hot to touch; and, 3) Advocates for Social Security private accounts have no mandate from this election." The group pointed out that Bush's pro-privatization commission "could not manage to come up with a plan for private investment accounts that did not cut Social Security's guaranteed benefits, undermine survivors' and disability benefits, and cause people to delay their retirement - even as they required massive transfers from the general budget." The Center for Responsive Politics ( www.opensecrets.org ) reports that the Securities and Investment industry ranks third in total campaign giving compared to more than 80 other industries.

Bush Warps Election Results into 'Mandate' for Social Security Pillaging by Securities Industry
Social Security

WashingtonPost.com reports: "The White House is interpreting Republican congressional victories in the Nov. 5 midterm elections as a mandate for changes to Social Security that (Mr.) Bush has long sought. But the administration may be unwilling to devote his political capital to such touchy legislation in the coming year....The changes center on the creation of individual retirement accounts in which most workers could divert some of their Social Security taxes into stocks and bonds....Bush made Social Security a central issue of his presidential campaign. Last year, he set forth some principles for redesigning the program, including the retirement accounts and a promise not to reduce benefits for people who are retired or who will be soon. Then he created a commission that proposed three alternatives late last year, each containing a version of private accounts."

Social Security 'Privatization' Obscures the Real Issue: Cutting in Benefits While Betting Retirement Savings in the (Shaky) Stock Market
Social Security

Hans Riemer, Senior Policy Analyst, writes: "No matter what you call it, diverting Social Security funds into stock investments will cut guaranteed benefits and increase risk. The growing crisis in retirement security has put the future of Social Security front and center in the 2002 elections. Make no mistake: this is a key moment in the history of Social Security. November's election will be a referendum on the Republican Party's agenda -- and Bush's specific plans -- for Social Security privatization....The problem with the Republicans' quibbling over the definition of privatization is that they are obscuring a more important debate about a policy that they still support: diverting Social Security taxes into private investment accounts. Diverting money away from Social Security causes sharp cuts in Social Security's guaranteed benefits while putting retirees' guaranteed benefits at the whims of a risky stock market."

Voters Deserve to Know Where Republican Candidates Stand on Social Security Privatization
Social Security

USA Today writes, "Hundreds of billions of dollars of Americans' retirement assets have been vaporized in the stock market. Yet despite these devastating losses, many politicians have embraced plans to privatize Social Security, sharply cutting the program's guaranteed benefits while exposing us all to more risk in the stock market. These 'partial privatization' plans, embraced by Bush and Republicans in Congress, would engineer a radical transformation of Social Security. They would take money needed to pay Social Security benefits and divert it into private investment accounts. As a result, Social Security's guaranteed benefits eventually would be cut by 40%.... Many politicians who support them are trying to hide their views from the voters before the 2002 elections....If they are willing to vote for privatizing Social Security in the next Congress, they should be willing to tell the voters before the election."

GOP Engineers a 'Strategic Retreat' on Social Security To Keep Privatization Alive
Social Security

With the stock market tanking, the Republican plan to privatize Social Security is radioactive. But Republicans NEVER admit defeat, and NEVER stop their attacks on government programs that actually HELP people (as opposed to killing people or taking away their rights). So now we learn that the Republican Party is waging a Big Lie campaign, claiming they OPPOSE privatization and accusing DEMOCRATS of supporting it. There is only one way to save Social Security - Defeat ALL Republicans!

RNC Admits: ' In Politics, Words Matter' - We Hope They Tell Bush!
Social Security

Joshua Micah Marshall writes: "Ouch. Ouch. And Double-Ouch! It seems the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) is finally getting nailed for its endlessly mendacious memo about Social Security privatization. You'll remember that this is the memo in which the NRCC instructed GOP House candidates to bully reporters out of using the term 'privatization' to describe Republican policy on Social Security reform, claiming the label was a misleading slur concocted by Democrats, when in fact it was the term all Republicans used until a few months ago... The Republican memo is a piece of brazen historical revisionism. It pretends that the word 'privatization' was invented by Democratic spinners and then accepted by a gullible media. It makes no mention of the incontrovertible fact that 'privatization' was the term used by many Republican (and other) advocates of personal accounts until it turned out that the word didn't poll well."

GOP Candidates Run from Bush's Social Security Privatization Plan - But They Can't Hide!
Social Security

Washington Post reports, "Bush's campaign to allow Americans to invest a portion of their Social Security taxes in the stock market is losing support among Republican congressional candidates, as Wall Street's sinking prices reinforce worries about the proposal. Amid sharp attacks by the Democratic Party, several GOP incumbents and challengers are coming out against Bush's plan for partial privatization... Fueling the shift is the stock market's recent plunge, which has reminded voters of the risks of investing in stocks, rather than in other financial instruments that guarantee safe but modest returns. [Bush] continues to call for giving workers the right to direct a portion of their Social Security payroll taxes to stocks or other investments by creating personal savings accounts... Before leaving town for the August recess, Republican lawmakers received a detailed dossier from their leaders warning them against talking about privatization." They can RUN - but they can't HIDE!

Bush Wants To Loot Social Security -- To Pay Off The Bid'nessmen Who Bail Him Out
Social Security

Paul Krugman writes: "Mr Bush first proposed privatizing Social Security back when people still believed that stocks only go up. Even then his proposal made no sense...it was based on the claim that 2-1=4, that you can divert the payroll taxes of younger workers [and still pay promised benefits to older workers]. So why does he keep pushing the idea? One reason is ideology: hard-line conservatives are determined to build a bridge back to the 1920's. Another is Mr Bush's infallibility complex: to back off on privatization would be to admit, at least implicitly, to a mistake -- and this administration never, ever does that. But there may be a third reason. Ask yourself: [Who would benefit from privatizing Social Security? A handful of private investment funds would make enormous commissions from those funds. These campaign contributors] gave Mr Bush almost six times as much as they gave Al Gore." When Bush is in power, he gives away YOUR money to his slimiest supporters!

If You Liked Enron's Implosion, You Will Love Bush's Social Security Privatization
Social Security

Paul Krugman writes, "To make sense of what passes for debate over Social Security reform, one must realize that advocates of privatization... are determined not to understand basic arithmetic... George W Bush was able to get away with the nonsensical claim that private accounts would not only yield high, low-risk returns, but save Social Security at the same time. For whatever reason, few reporters pointed out that he was claiming that 2-1=4... Sure enough, the plans laid out by Mr Bush... involve both severe benefit cuts and huge 'magic asterisks,' infusions of trillions of dollars from an undisclosed location... Republicans are now being told to deny that personal accounts... constitute 'privatization'... So it looks like a duck and walks like a duck, but it isn't a duck -- not until after the next election. But whatever they say, it is a duck. And the administration economists... are, more than ever, revealed as quacks."

Report Predicts Deep Benefit Cuts Under Bush Social Security Plan
Social Security

NY Times reports, "Opponents of President [sic] Bush's plan to create personal investment accounts within Social Security released a report today concluding that the administration's approach would lead to deep cuts in retirement benefits and still require trillions of dollars in additional financing to keep the system solvent... The report concluded that under two of the commission's three proposals, monthly benefits for each member of a two-earner couple retiring at 65 in 2075 would be well below benefits promised under current law even after taking account of the returns from a personal investment account."

Privatizing Social Security - A Third Rail for the GOP
Social Security

Robert Kuttner writes "Republicans and the Bush administration may have painted themselves into a serious political corner on the hot-button issue of Social Security. Last December a Social Security Commission appointed by [Bush] reported three possible plans to privatize part of Social Security accounts. At the time the commission was appointed, conservative think tanks... had persuaded leading Republicans that voters liked the idea of 'choice' in their retirement planning and that private accounts invested in stocks had great appeal with younger voters. But after a swooning stock market and the Enron scandal, Republican congressmen who have to run in swing districts know better. The GOP's rank and file is refusing to walk this plank... Clay Shaw of Florida, a leading advocate of Social Security privatization, denied that he supports Social Security privatization."

Social Security Privatization: Another Brilliant Idea from the GOP
Social Security

Joe Conason writes in Salon, "Privatizing Social Security was never a brilliant idea, because its costs and risks would so far outweigh its likely benefits for most people. But the daily headlines... show just how dubious and dangerous the scheme proposed by the Bush White House really is... There is simply no way to adequately police a market where a hundred million unsophisticated 'investors' could someday be relieved of their retirement savings by a mafia of well-educated crooks... So don't be surprised if conservatives and Republicans try to lie low on this issue at least until the storm over Wall Street subsides. The conservatives certainly haven't abandoned their dream of redirecting those payroll taxes into the pockets of the private sector. But for the moment, they face an insurmountable public relations problem: To anyone who is paying attention, the efficiency and integrity of the Social Security Administration makes the stock market look like a rigged casino."

Bu$h's Social Security Privatization Plan Steeply Cuts Benefits for All, Costs More
Social Security

"Bush and congressional Republicans have again pushed for raids on Social Security to finance tax breaks for large corporations, including - incredibly - a $250 million tax break for Enron. As you might imagine, these raids would jeopardize the long-term financial security of hard working American families. But there's a second danger. The Republicans also want to privatize Social Security, taking trillions of dollars from the Trust Fund to finance private accounts, and forcing deep cuts in guaranteed benefits. But they won't say that now… Bush's own Social Security commission has developed privatization plans that would require drastic reductions in future Social Security benefits. For some seniors, these cuts would exceed 25 percent. In the future, seniors could face far deeper cuts in benefits - up to 45 percent. And these cuts would apply to everyone, even those who don't invest in private accounts." So declared Sen. Jon Corzine (D-NJ) in the weekly Democratic Radio Address.

Republicans Undermine Social Security and Medicare, Then Call It a 'Tax Cut'
Social Security

In a statement released on Tax Day, Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) blasted Republicans for misleading Americans. Rangel said "most taxpayers are finding out that the so-called 'rebate' they got in the mail last year was their tax cut for this year. Most people thought that they were promised both a rebate last year and a tax cut this year." But now, Bush and the Republicans want to make their tax giveaway to the rich permanent, despite the fact that they wouldn't take effect until 2011. So, what's the real reason? If you want to "kill Social Security and Medicare, you would not repeal them directly…you would develop a budget plan that would ensure that we will not have the money to fund these programs…(they are) laying the groundwork to undermine the future of Social Security and Medicare."

Enron, Shmenron - Bush Continues to Push for Privatizing Social Security
Social Security

Bush doesn't know when to let up, does he? You'd think the collapse of millions of dollars in retirement savings at Enron would make Shrub lighten up on his ridiculous plan to privatize Social Security. NOT! He continues to push the plan put forth by his heavily stacked commission to put workers' Social Security funds in the stock market. Bush is Robin Hood in reverse-he wants to steal from the poor to give to the rich, and it looks like nothing - not even a full-on political scandal like Enron - will deter him from his goal. Hey George - keep your oil-stained hands off OUR Social Security!

Stealing from American Workers: The Truth About the Social Security Debate
Social Security

The evening news will tell you that the Social Security debate is only about politicians posturing for the next election. That's a bunch of hooey. This debate is about: (1) taking money from American workers by force (i.e., FICA taxes), (2) promising those workers the FICA money will be returned in some form in the future (i.e., future SS benefits), and (3) giving the workers' FICA money to someone else because it's politically expedient (i.e., subsidies to your best contributors or to fund your favorite pet projects). That's stealing under any definition I know.

Democrats.com Exclusive: Bush Lied At Least 14 Times About Social Security
Social Security

As of 8/29/01, George W. Bush has lied at least 14 TIMES about putting the Social Security surplus in a "lock box." Is this "restoring honesty and integrity to the White House"? Is it "changing the tone in Washington?" Where is the outrage???

Republican Attack on Social Security Could Cost Republicans the House of Representatives
Social Security

The Republican plan to privatize Social Security has energized core elements of the Democratic Party, including seniors, women, and organized labor. Congressional Democrats - including the "blue dogs" - are solidly opposed to the Republican plan. And the huge American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), which has bent over backwards for Republicans in recent years, is beginning to rise from its slumber. Republicans strategists are terrified that their attacks on Social Security could cost them the House of Representatives. Well it should - we'd love to see Republicans defend seniors foraging for food in dumpsters as "heartland values."

Bush Thinks Hispanics and Women are Stupid and Easily Swayed by a Little Sweet Talk
Social Security

We find Bush's total lack of respect for minorities and women (whom he treats like a minority group) offensive. But even more offensive is his belief that such people can be be misused, then given a phony pat on the head or a vague promise and everything is fine. For example, he tells Hispanics he MAY legalize immigrants already here, yet does nothing. Meanwhile, he takes a very concrete action against Hispanics by changing the Medicaid rules so that healthcare providers for Medidcaid patients are no longer required to communicate effectively in Spanish to non-English-speaking Hispanics. That ought to make for great healthcare, eh? Yet now he wants Hispanics to help him push his Social Security policies. He has done NOTHING constructive at all for women, not even made promises, yet now wants them also to help him overhaul the Social Security system in a way that will harm women MOST. We've known wife beaters with more respect for females.

The Fate of All Americans over 65 to Be Decided Behind Closed Doors in Top Secret Meetings that Flagrantly Violate Federal Statutes
Social Security

The 16-member Social Security Commission is a crooked deck stacked heavily with wheeler-dealers of big business, with no ordinary citizens allowed anywhere NEAR the group. Now, this week, the commission is splitting into two groups, which will hide in HOTEL ROOMS in D.C. in secret meetings to discuss "fiscal and administrative issues" (i.e., cut backroom deals). After the deals have been cut, the commission plans to have an "open session" (i.e. let the public in on the done deal). The group is splitting into two groups as a sleazy, sneaky way to oil their way around a federal law that REQUIRES meetings of a body like this to be completely open to the public. Eric Glitzenstein, a lawyer who specializes in open government laws says that by splitting into two "subgroups," the commission "is circumventing the open meetings requirement...To me, that's just a flagrant violation of the letter and spirit of the statute." But what would you expect from a Junta government?

Social Security Privatization is a Big Lie
Social Security

According to NY Times columnist Paul Krugman, "The administration's political strategy is clear. It is not interested in a realistic proposal for privatizing Social Security; it intends to sell private accounts with false advertising, with the promise of something for nothing. And the administration is equally uninterested in a realistic assessment of the current Social Security system. Instead it will attempt to scare people with the threat of pain without gain, of nothing for something — that is, with the help of the commission the administration will try to convince people that the huge surpluses of today's Social Security system somehow make no contribution to the system's future solvency... let's not pretend that we are having a real, honest discussion. The privatizers know what they want, and they will say anything - no matter how untrue - in order to get it."

Molly Ivins Rips Social Security Commission to Shreds
Social Security

What's wrong with privatizing social security? Molly Ivins counts the ways. (1) If our accounts are handed over to brokerage firms, transaction fees will consume a huge chunk of our assets. (2) Individual account owners - especially the elderly will be victimized by every scam ever invented. (3) The funds needed to "save" Social Security are equal to Bush's tax giveaway to the wealthy. You go, Molly!

At Long Last, We Can See the Costs of Social Security Privatization
Social Security

Throughout the campaign, Bush breezily promised to privatize Social Security - but adamantly refused to discuss the costs and how they would be paid. Now Jim Kolbe (R-AZ) and Charlie Stenholm (D-TX) have offered a painful plan involving benefit cuts, higher taxes, and a higher retirement age. They even admit they are "canaries in the mine" - "If we survive, maybe others will venture into the subject," Stenholm said. Sorry Charlie, we'd say you're an endangered species. To make things worse, the Times article appeared directly above dire warnings about a 17% drop in corporate earnings, raising fears of a stock market collapse.

Bush's Social Insecurity Commission Attacks its Critics
Social Security

Even before its work is done, Bush's Social Security commission has begun attacking its critics, calling them "know-nothings" and "Luddites." Predictably, Bush's pro-privatization commission unanimously stated that privatization is the only future for Social Security. "But outside, dozens of pickets from labor unions, advocates for the elderly and women's groups clogged the sidewalk in front of the Washington hotel where the panel met -- part of 40 protests that opponents of the commission orchestrated around the country. Two other groups of opponents, including several congressional Democrats, staged midday news conferences to amplify their criticism of the report." Way to go, know-nothings!

Why is Moynihan Destroying his Reputation for Bush?
Social Security

Five years ago, in a speech opposing the Republican welfare destruction plan, Sen. Pat Moynihan (D-NY) warned that Social Security was next in line for destruction. "Do not doubt that Social Security itself, which is to say insured retirement benefits, will be next. The bill will be called 'The Individual Retirement Account Insurance Act.' Something such." Two years ago, Moynihan said Social Security's long term (2075!) problems could be fixed with "four simple steps". So why is Moynihan now destroying his own reputation by championing the Bush plan to end Social Security?

Bush's Social Security Commission Promotes Orwellian 'Doublethink'
Social Security

In another denunciation of the report of Bush's Social Security Commission, NY Times columnist Paul Krugman writes: "Having it both ways - what George Orwell called doublethink - is what this commission report is all about. We're supposed to believe that Social Security surpluses are meaningless, because it's all one budget, but that Social Security deficits are a terrible thing, because the program must stand on its own. We're supposed to believe that $170 billion a year is a modest sum if it's a tax cut for the affluent, but that it's an insupportable burden on the budget if it's an obligation to retirees. And we're supposed to listen seriously to the recommendations of a commission that has just issued a biased, internally inconsistent and intellectually dishonest report." You go, Paul!

Democratic House Women Lead the Fight Against Shrub's Disastrous Social Security Privatization Scheme
Social Security

The National Women’s Law Center has denounced the scare tactics and misleading claims used by the Administration to sell their Social Security privatization plan to American women. Joan Entmacher, NWLC’s Vice President and Director of Family Economic Security, participated in a press conference with Congresswomen Rosa DeLauro, Sheila Jackson Lee, Louise Slaughter, and Karen Thurman. Together they announced the release of a letter to Bush signed by every female Democratic House member opposing privatization because of the dangers it poses for women. Entmacher has her facts well-marshalled and in the letter lays out a hard-hitting side-by-side comparison of SS and private accounts, leaving no question as to which is the safer deal. You go, Girl!

Social Security Report is 'Sheer, Mean-spirited Nonsense'
Social Security

"I knew that the commission on Social Security reform appointed by George W. Bush would produce a slanted report, one designed to bully Congress into privatizing the system. But the draft report released last week is sheer, mean-spirited nonsense. The commission, in an attempt to sow panic, claims that Social Security is in imminent peril - that the system will be in crisis as soon as 2016. That's wildly at odds with the standard projection, which says that Social Security reserves will last until 2038. And even that projection is based on quite pessimistic assumptions about future economic growth and hence future payroll tax receipts. If you use more optimistic assumptions - say, the assumptions in the budget forecasts that were used to justify Mr. Bush's tax cut - the system will still be financially sound in 2075." So writes NY Times columnist Paul Krugman.

There's a 'Crisis of Confidence' Alright, Shrub - and the Reason Ain't Social Security!
Social Security

Shrub says there's a crisis of confidence over the social security fund. But we say the only real crisis of confidence is the one the American people are having over the realization that there's a pretender in the White House. This pretender plans to let his billionaire buddies raid the fund, whilst making up bizarre tales to justify it (like it never was REAL money, anyway!). Instead of promising hard-working Americans a secure old age, he wants them to take their own cash and play the stock market. And, if the market goes belly up along the way - too bad! The Bush crime cartel will long since be retired on the raided fund proceeds. As for the bogus "crisis" Bush is trying to concoct over the fund: "If they think they are going to have trouple repaying the trust fund, then they'd better think about repealing their tax cut," said Has Reimer of the Campaign for America's Future. We think impeachment is an even better idea, followed by criminal prosecution.

Social Security System's Fiduciary Takes First Step Towards Destruction of Social Security
Social Security

Bush didn't win the election, and has no mandate to take the radical step of privatizing Social Security. But Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill - who has FIDUCIARY responsibility for the Social Security system - is militantly determined to "get it done," as they say in Bushspeak. He has teamed up with (probably even assembled) a group of Wall Street firms that would make huge profits by putting the nation's retirement fund at risk. If you like electricity privatization, you'll LOVE what they do to Social Security. Can you spell N-A-S-D-A-Q? It looks like Americans will have to organize a boycott of the participating Wall Street firms...

Business Groups Line Up to Raid Social Security, While Unions Fight Back
Social Security

Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill helped launch the "Coalition for American Financial Security," a group of Wall Street investment banks that wants to privatize Social Security. But that's not the only group of raiders - we'll also need to keep track of the "Universal Savers Alliance," which is backed by the term limits terrorists, who viciously attacked Democrats when we controlled Congress, but disappeared when Republicans took over. There is also the "Alliance for Worker Retirement Security," backed by the National Association of Manufacturers. Notice all the faux-pleasant sounding names? If they were honest, they would call themselves "Let Seniors Eat Dog Food" or "NASDAQ Will Always Go Up - You Can Trust Us!" But the AFL-CIO plans to yank its lucrative pension funds against any Wall Street firms that join the raiders.

AARP Says Shrub's Social Security Panel Stacked with Members Favoring Privatization
Social Security

Shrub's "nonpanel" (a real panel implies some real debate) on social security "lacks the balance of opinion essential for public credibility," says AARP Exec. Dir. Horace B. Deets. Deets says the panel, stuffed with Bush toadies favoring just one model - the privatization scheme known as "carve outs" - "would leave Social Security's trust funds worse off" and accelerate the fund's feared bankruptcy. Deets says the Bush plan shows "a fundamental misunderstanding of the Social Security System." Maybe that's because our clueless nonleader didn't even know that Social Security was a government program until one of his "handlers" (maybe his organ grinder Cheney) told him well into his campaign. We suggest people invest in good sturdy mattresses (for stuffing cash) before they buy into the disastrous nonplan of the Shrub nonpanel.

Bush Wants to Eliminate Social Security and Medicare for Healthy Seniors - and Abolish the Corporate Income Tax
Social Security

In an interview with the Financial Times, Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill "questioned the guarantees the government provides for full public subsidy of senior citizens' health care and retirement programmes. 'Able-bodied adults who have the ability to earn income have an obligation not to pass part of their own responsibility on to a broader population,' he said." In addition, O'Neill "says he 'absolutely' wants to eliminate corporate income tax. He also wants to do away with capital gains taxes on businesses, and indicated the administration was prepared to put this on a shorter-term agenda." This is HUGE news - why hasn't the US media covered it???

Bush Nominee To Head Social Security Commission Accused Of Denying Time Warner Workers Of Their Pensions
Social Security

Appointed by Bush to head his new Social Security commission, AOL Chief Operating Officer Robert Parson was President of Time Warner when it denied thousands of its employees pension benefits. "The Labor Department filed suit against Time Warner Inc. in 1998, alleging that the media giant had wrongly classified hundreds of workers as temporary employees and independent contractors to keep from paying them health and pension benefits...Two years later, Time Warner settled the lawsuit, without admitting any wrongdoing, by agreeing to pay $5.5 million to employees who had been denied health and pension benefits because of their temporary or contractor classifications." Said Hans Riemer, chairman of the 2030 Center, "If they had their way, they wouldn't have let any of their employees get their pensions, leaving them to rely on Social Security. And now they want to take that away as well, through privatization." Bush pleads ignorance about the Time Warner suit, but what about his handlers?