2.07.2005

Wait, the Bush Administration would try to mislead us?

Falsehoods underlie campaign to end Social Security
BaltimoreSun.com (02.07)
Wow. Powerful article by Cynthia Tucker showing the similarities between the current plan to dismantle Social Security with what the Project for a New American Century did with invading Iraq (and, by the way, they now want to send your kids into Iran)...

The plan to topple Social Security, however, is much older – dating to the 1930s, to the very formation of the program. Conservatives have always hated it and wanted to get rid of it. So, taking the long view, they devised strategies, sat back, bided their time and waited for political circumstances to provide cover to demolish Social Security.

They have found their circumstances: the re–election of George Bush, which conservatives have claimed as a mandate to dismantle the social safety net.

As he did with the invasion of Iraq, President Bush has mounted a campaign against Social Security using half-truths, misperceptions and falsehoods. In the State of the Union speech, he declared, "By the year 2042, the entire system would be exhausted and bankrupt."
Stop. Cynthia, you had us at "hello"...

By the way, readers may remember that weird memo from Karl Rove's man that mentioned winning the Social Security fight for the first time in 60 years that we posted a little while ago (our archives are full of fun stuff like that!)
According to its actuaries – who have done a much better job over the decades in predicting the system's finances than Mr. Bush has done in predicting the deficit – Social Security will be able to pay every dime promised to beneficiaries until 2042. (The Congressional Budget Office gives it another decade.) After that, with no fixes, it will begin to run a deficit and will only be able to pay three–fourths of the benefits promised. Does that sound like "exhausted"? "Bankrupt"?

Even that crisis of diminished benefits (which won't kick in until the Bush twins are nearly old enough to collect Social Security themselves) could be headed off with a modest increase in the payroll tax, which is currently quite regressive, costing people who earn less a higher percentage of their incomes.
Oh Cynthia, you say the sweetest things... but, shhh someone might hear and people might start to think for themselves...

As always, read & decide for yourselves.


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