Friday, January 14, 2005

The Ultimate Social Security Scam

The Bush administration claims to have a bold new plan to line the pockets of their corporate contributors. Oops, I meant to say that they have a bold new plan to dismantle social security. Oops, I meant save social security. The administration claims that social security will go bankrupt, but there are no government studies that agree with them. Depending on the source, social security will be able to pay 100% benefits until between 2040 and 2060, then 80% benefits indefinitely beyond.

The fact is that social security is one of the best government programs ever instituted, a way to help the elderly and disabled live with some dignity. The Republicans have been agitating for the destruction of this last great New Deal program for years. Now that Bush has his supposed "mandate," they figure this is the time to push for that change. Their proposal, which won't come cheap, is to let workers put much of their social security money into the inherently risky stock market. But even Bush has admitted that he has to convince us there is a problem. That task is made more difficult by a lack of corroborative evidence. Oh, and by the way, in case you thought you missed Bush's pleas for social security privatization during the 2004 presidential campaign... No, you didn't miss it. He hardly ever mentioned it, and he still hasn't unveiled any specifics.

A conservative organization called Progress for America is doing its part for the Prez. They are running commercials on Fox News and CNN that show Franklin Roosevelt and claim that Bush's plan to "save" social security is as brave as FDR's plan to create it was. FDR's grandson is rightfully livid: "On behalf of my family, I would ask that you cease using my grandfather's image in your advertising campaign." Naturally, Progress for America has refused his request.


Anonymous said...

I wonder how you figure that his grandson necessarily knows how FDR would feel on this issue... FDR isn't around, and anyone guessing how he would feel on this issue is just that...guessing. Not that I agree that Progress for America should be using that comparison, mind you.

David Johnsen said...

If FDR had wanted privatization, why didn't he set up Social Security that way in the first place? I think that FDR knew very well during the Depression that the stock market was not a reliable place for people to put their money for such a program. Sure it's a guess, but I think it's an educated one.