Saturday, February 05, 2005

Letter to the Maui News

ANYONE FOR A GAME OF SOCIAL SECURITY ROULETTE?


Just as President Bush grossly distorted the facts about Iraq's supposed possession of nuclear and chemical weapons in order to convince Congress and the American public to support his invasion of that country, so he is distorting the facts about Social Security in order to convince us to agree to his hidden abolition of Social Security.

Yes, abolition. He is trying to scare people into supporting the destruction of Social Security.

Bush has opposed Social Security since he was 32 years old and running for office in Texas. He predicted then that Social Security would be insolvent in 10 years. Social Security wasn't insolvent in 1992 and, if left alone, it won't be insolvent in 2018, 2042 or even 2052. For SS to keep paying full benefits after 2052, it will only take a minor tweaking to raise the cap of $90,000 to $120,000 on taxable salary.

Bush’s privatization plan will add two trillion in costs to the administration of SS and billions in commission to private financial managers but not make any improvement to social security.

Bush’s plan will remove the guaranteed, (“defined”) benefits from SS and replace them with a “defined” contribution. But, having made the required contributions, there is no guarantee whatever that there would be money in the privately invested accounts to pay you benefits upon retirement. Money for benefits payment would depend on your luck in the stock market. Ask Enron investors what happened to their retirement funds.

Republican senate majority leader Frist's campaign committee, which has access to the best investment advisors in the business, lost $524,000 playing the stock market last year. How will the average Joe make out, especially given Bush’s massive trade deficits and his trillion-dollar increases in the national debt which has made our economy so insecure.

Bush might as well call for a national roulette game to fund the winners’ retirement, for most of us, the odds might be better.






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