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February 07, 2005

Attention Chicken Little: about the sky. . .

Our president is off and at it again, using the same techniques as before for pretty much the same reasons as before. He uses half-truths and outright lies to try and scare the voters and then jam his solution through whose real political agenda is different than what is stated. Having worked SO well last time with foreign policy (aka the Iraq War) he's now using it for the domestic side of his agenda -- and the target this time is Social Security. When his solution is shown to be a boondoggle, I suppose he could blame "bad intel" again except, if it passes, by the time it's full impact is felt, Bush will be long gone from office.

Bush tries to convince us the sky is falling so we'll get scared and do what he wants. Remember in the Chicken Little story who it was that told Chicken Little the sky was falling and why they did that. In this case, we're told that the system is going to go bankrupt, flat broke, and that the best way toi fix it (although he is supposedly open to ALL ideas) is for private accounts to be opened to you can "own" your retirement..

Wrong, lies, and misleading on all counts. The system ISN'T going to go broke; it will be underfunded by a certain date but that can actually be easily fixed without revising the system. Which is what private accounts do. You would be investing and social security isn't an investment -- it's a federal INSURANCE program. The rate of return is low but guaranteed; to get a higher rate of return, you must be willing to take risk. The risk is that you can lose your investment or not get the return you expected.

If you go to private investment accounts for retirement, the government, under Bush's plan, will monitor and control which type of investments you can make. To BETTER Social Security, over the length of investment you would have to do better than 3% growth annually AFTER adjhusting for inflation. And, when time comes to retire, you TURN OVER the account to the Feds who then give you an annuity out of it so you don't spend it all at once.Because they don't trust you to spend it wisely.

Plus the plan adds about two TRILLION to the national debt in making the changeover in order to cover lost of revenue for those now over 55 when the younger folks pull money out of Social Security for these investment accounts. That's two trillion ON TOP of the rest of the massive deficit Bush has gifted us with.

And the real reason on the political agenda? It's not just to generate lots of commissions for the Bush's buddies in the banks and on Wall Street although they're ahppy to do that; after all, you need to feather your own nest for when you're out of office, don't you? The neo-cons and the right wingers in this administration represent people who HATE Social Security. It offends them. So they want to create a situation where, eventually, it will be financially impossible to continue it.

Would it be smart to evaluate Social Security and see if it's well funded and take steps to fix it if its not? Of course. That's prudent. But it's also been one of the few truly succesful federal programs over its length of years. It's being mucked with primarily because of political theolgy.

And we're a bunch of damned fools if we let them do it.

Posted by John Ostrander at February 7, 2005 10:21 AM

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Did you know that the same PR machine that put together the "Swift Boat Veterans" have now been hired to attack the AARP because of their stand against Bush's Social Security nightmare vision?

My only hope is that we survive at least relatively intact until 2008.

Although we could end up with Condoleeza Rice!

Or worse...



Posted by: Mindy Newell at March 1, 2005 10:37 PM