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Social Security: It’s a Bush-made crisis

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It turns out that the fiscal crisis of Social Security is grossly
exaggerated by its political enemies
. The trustees [in the 2003 Social
Security Trustees’ Report] project Social
Security balances forward for 75 years. Their report uses pessimistic
annual growth
assumptions of just 1.6%. Even so, the 75-year shortfall is projected at
just $3.8 trillion, or just 0.73% of gross domestic product over this
time. By contrast, the Bush tax cuts equal $8.7 trillion, or 1.68% of
GDP over 75 years, according to Peter Orszag of the Brookings Institution,
and new proposed tax cuts would push the cost to over $12 trillion.

[Using the Trustees’ projections] If the Bush tax cuts are
pared back by less than half, the money can be used to replenish Social
and the
vaunted "crisis" disappears

‘Whether to cut Social Security benefits for the 96% of Americans in the

system or reduce tax cuts for the top 2% is, of course, a political

All of the conservative proposals for restoring the Social Security
system’s health are different forms of cuts in benefits

‘Raising the retirement age
is a reduction in benefits. So is fiddling with the cost-of-living formula.
Partial privatization is the most costly and intellectually dishonest
fix of all
. Not only would it reduce the guaranteed part of the retire-
package, but it would require the government to borrow $2 trillion to
$4 trillion to
keep paying benefits to current retirees while payroll taxes of younger
Americans were diverted to new personal accounts.’
[Finally, An Honest Debate Business Week 03/15/2004 subscription]

Tell your Senators and House

to come clean and do the right thing (cut back the tax cuts).

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About Hal

  • mike

    One interesting tidbit is that the only “succesful” privatization of Social Security occurred (under the direction of University of Chicago right wingers) in Chile. That is, under a military dictatorship.

    The same principle applies here: the GOP is using the fiscal crisis caused by its military expansionism and tax cuts to force changes in Social Security that people would not otherwise accept.

    It’s time to admit that, in important respects, the same Bush administration that claims to be spreading democracy abroad is increasingly resembling a military dictatorship at home. That’s not hyperbole. It’s a simple fact.

    It’s also an open question whether terrorists or the GOP are the greater threat to America. Both are attacking the foundations of the republic, and our democracy.

  • Hal Pawluk

    The basic approach seems to be the “starving the beast” principle they first enunciated during the Reagan years:

    The starve-the-beast doctrine
    is now firmly within the conservative mainstream. George W. Bush himself
    seemed to endorse the doctrine as the budget surplus
    evaporated: in August 2001 he called the disappearing surplus ”incredibly
    positive news” because it would put Congress in a ”fiscal straitjacket.”
    Tax Cut Con

  • Tom

    Who gives a fuck about social security. You should be putting money away yourself. Why should the government take care of you.

    This “i’m entitled to it” philosophy has got to stop.

  • Hal Pawluk

    Is there some reason this particular topic seems to drive you berserk, Tom?

  • John

    Tom is obviously an idiot. You should care about it because the govt. steals 6.2% of you income for it each year. Money you won’t see when you retire. Money you could be investing right now on your own. What a fucking joke. God Bless America!