Bush's "Piratization" of Social
January 11, 2005
is siccing the investor class on the worker class.
Which are you? If you make more of your income from work than
you earn from investments, you are part of the worker class; if
you make most of your income from investments, you may be part of
the investor class - unless, of course, you are retired and are
no longer earning income from current labor.
Clearly the big Wall Street investment companies that contribute
heavily to Bush's and other Republican political campaigns stand
to gain billions of dollars from fees and commissions if Bush manages
to "piratize" Social Security. No, I did not misspell "privatize,"
I spelled it "piratize" because the root word here is pirate.
If you are middle-class or poor and support Bush's "piratization"
of Social Security, you have been brainwashed and bamboozled. If
you work for a living and support Bush's "piratization" of Social
Security, you have been brainwashed and bamboozled.
Social Security is not broke or going broke, and Bush's "piratization"
plan for Social Security will harm all but the wealthy and elite
investor class. Let's discuss "insider trading": Bush will undoubtedly
relax or remove the regulations barring Wall Street insiders from
profiting from "insider trading," and where will the ordinary investor
be then? Out in the cold, and broke.
Social Security is not in crisis; it is the healthiest government
program ever. It is solvent and will be solvent for the next 75
years - and beyond, if the Bushites will just stop robbing money
from the Social Security trust fund which is generating surpluses
in excess of $150 billion a year.
For 20 years, we have been paying extra into Social Security to
provide for the baby boomers' retirement years. It was Ronald Reagan,
at the urging of Alan Greenspan, who increased Social Security taxes
just to provide for the coming retirement of the baby boomers. It
is beyond gullibility to believe lawmakers just recently woke up
and discovered the baby boom generation will start retiring soon.
We have been paying extra into the Social Security trust fund for
20 years to provide for them.
Currently, there is a surplus of $153 billion more per year flooding
into the Social Security trust fund than is being paid out to retirees.
Leading economists, and the Congressional Budget Office, tell
us that even if Congress does nothing, the Social Security trust
fund will not run out of funds until 2052. Even then the system
will not be bankrupt and, by using then-current revenues, Social
Security will be able to pay retirees 80 percent of their promised
benefits. That's if Congress does nothing at all. [Source: Congressional
Budget Office Report "The
Outlook for Social Security"]
The "fix," if one is needed, is simple and fair. Raise the ceiling
on the income taxable for Social Security. Americans at the upper
income levels have benefited the most from Bush's past tax cuts
and can easily afford to pay a bit back into Social Security, which
they also receive at retirement.
Social Security is not only far from bankrupt, it is the most
successful and most scandal-free government program ever, and the
administrative costs - less then 1% - to run it are far below what
Wall Street will charge investors for private accounts. The investment
houses have profit as their goal, whereas Social Security is an
insurance policy to protect Americans from the vicissitudes of the
Be warned - we are about to be treated to the same lying prelude
to destroying Social Security that we were treated to in the buildup
to the Iraq war. The Iraq war buildup was done with smoke and mirrors
and threats of "mushroom clouds" over Manhattan. The Bushite effort
to destroy Social Security will be as full of lies and scare tactics
as the buildup to invading Iraq was. Americans of all ages must
be on guard against the lies the Bushites will tell, and have been
telling for years.
Bush and other Republicans are being profoundly dishonest when
they claim Social Security is going broke; it is not.
So, what is the problem? Bush has been "borrowing" from the Social
Security trust fund in order to wallpaper over the fact that he
cannot or will not balance the federal budget. He has been giving
tax cuts to the wealthy but has not been cutting the amount the
government spends. America is spending more than it is collecting
in revenue. What happens when people spend more than they take in?
Most go into debt.
The difference between Bush and the American people, though, is
that when he wanted to give even more tax cuts to the wealthy elite
- and hide from the American people the extent to which he was mismanaging
our economy - he simply took the money from the Social Security
trust fund. True, he left some I.O.U.s in the "box" to acknowledge
what he had done - but now he doesn't want to pay back what he has
So, what is his solution? He tells us Social Security is going
broke and must be destroyed.
Think of it this way: You have spent more than you earn each year
and have borrowed to the hilt from your neighborhood bank. Now the
moment has come for you to start paying back what you owe the bank,
but you still don't have sufficient finds to do so, because you
are sending money to your rich Uncle and Aunt (in hopes they will
mention you in their will). What can you do? If you are George W.
Bush you simply blow up the bank, and the problem is solved.
Bush owes Social Security more than he is willing to pay back,
and (in the expectation they will fund his ideological battles)
he continues to give his rich corporate "aunts" and "uncles" more
and more tax breaks - and is betting he will be able to blow up
Bush is amassing a war chest to fund an advertising blitz that
will hypnotize Americans into believing him when he says Social
Security is in crisis. There is no similar effort possible among
Social Security's defenders, because most of those who need and
rely on Social Security cannot afford to donate huge sums to sponsor
ads telling the truth: that Social Security is not in crisis and
is not going broke. On the other hand, the Wall Street investment
houses - eager to gather in billions, if not trillions, of dollars
in profits from fees and commissions - are more than energized to
spread Bush's deceitful message.
It is up to all of us to make sure George W. Bush does not get
away with this horrendous deception.