May 06, 2005

The Ploy of Social Security Privatization

I’ve been hearing the arguments and listening to the commentary for months now on this whole plan of the president’s to privatize Social Security. Or should I say ‘reform’ Social Security. But the more I hear, the more it doesn’t make sense.

So let me get this straight…. over the next 30 years as the baby-boomers are retiring, there will be a shift FROM more people paying into Social Security TO more people receiving benefits from Social Security. That will make the Social Security system go broke. Sounds simple enough... even logical… until you get down to the nitty-gritty details. Like all of Bush’s schemes, the devil certainly IS in the details. So, here are a few questions I have:

  • The Social Security system has been around all these years, with more people paying into it then receiving benefits from it. So there must be a huuuuuuuge trust fund built up with all that extra money, right? Earning all sorts of interest, right? Wouldn’t that cover us over the baby-boomer years?

    I think we all know the answer to that. The Social Security Trust Fund is not as large as it should be for one reason – this administration has recklessly run the government into a chasm of a deficit and literally stolen trillions of dollars from the SSTF.

  • So the real problem is that the Social Security Trust Fund, which should be vast enough to cover the baby-boomer years, isn’t. How exactly is ‘Privatization’ going to fix this? Right now, the money I pay into SS is funding the benefits of those who are retired. If the money I pay into SS is going to go to my own private account, then how are we going to pay those who are currently retired? Wouldn’t that drain the Social Security Trust Fund even quicker? Wouldn’t it cost trillions of dollars to transition to this new privatization scheme? And where would we get the money for that? Can’t borrow it from the Social Security Trust Fund!

President Bush is not selling his Social Security ‘reform’ scheme. He has zero credibility around the world, and very little credibility here in the US. Sure there are a bunch of ultra-conservative, right-wing, neo-fascist, fundamentalist Christian sheeple like Sean Hannity who will hang on W’s every word, but by-and-large the American public has not bought his scheme. Yet he continues to tout his plan and challenges the Democrats to come up with a better plan. Here comes the ‘ploy’.

Instead of the assured disaster of privatizing Social Security, the fiscally-responsible Democrats will have to come up with a plan that essentially raises (or reduces the cutting of) taxes. Bottom line – the Democrats come off as the ‘bad’ guys. This has been Bush’s scheme all along.

It’s a win-win for W. Either he gets his Social Security Privatization scam (translation: Wall St. buddies get richer, conservatives chip away at the New Deal they always thought was socialist), OR the Democrats take the blame for raising taxes to save Social Security, in which case he continues to have a big pool to draw from to overspend the government’s budget to wage war and take over the Middle East (translation: make his war-profiteering buddies richer). Either way, the Democrats are so busy battling this evil scheme, that W can ram through the rest of his big-business agenda (trashing of bankruptcy & tort laws, billionaire estate-tax breaks, raping/exploitation of ANWR, etc.).

Don’t blame me, red-staters. I voted for Kerry.


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