Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

C-Span: Lautenberg, Dayton, Dorgan, Sarbanes kick ass on Social Security

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009) Donate to DU
 
Carolab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 11:28 PM
Original message
C-Span: Lautenberg, Dayton, Dorgan, Sarbanes kick ass on Social Security
Edited on Fri Jan-28-05 11:39 PM by Carolab
The Democratic Policy Committee convened a meeting today covering the fabrication of the social security "crisis". They had the former head of the agency, an expert from the Brookings Institute and the executive director of AARP. They also had two 31-year employees of the agency who reported that the agency employees are being forced to sell the lies in "talking points" and by sending out alarmist messages via individual statements and agency pamphlets and they are very upset about it. If you want to watch or tape it, it airs again in about an hour at 12:35 a.m. ET

http://www.delicatemonster.com/blog /

Paying for your own Propaganda

Talk about cynical politics. Even before Bush is inaugurated for an election rife with fraud and abuse, there comes this whiff of moral rot from the White House underwear drawer.

From the NY Times:

... agency employees have complained to Social Security officials that they are being conscripted into a political battle over the future of the program. They question the accuracy of recent statements by the agency, and they say that money from the Social Security trust fund should not be used for such advocacy.

"Trust fund dollars should not be used to promote a political agenda," said Dana C. Duggins, a vice president of the Social Security Council of the American Federation of Government Employees, which represents more than 50,000 of the agency's 64,000 workers and has opposed private accounts.

Deborah C. Fredericksen of Minneapolis, who has worked for the Social Security Administration for 31 years, said, "Many employees believe that the president and this agency are using scare tactics to promote private accounts"

As Josh Marshall notes:

"Now the Armstrong Williams episode turns out to have been just a blip on the radar, a faint premonition. Your payroll taxes and the whole edifice of the Social Security Administration is being joined to Karl Rove's outside astroturf groups pushing the Social Security phase-out."

In short, adminsitration officials will now enlist your own trust funds to ensure the eventual destruction of said fund in favor of Wall Street high rollers who will reap huge benefits (administrative cost, servicing fees, etc) while, of course, the average pensioners have their benefits cut to pay for the transition.

Here's the complaint page for the Social Security administration: http://www.ssa.gov/feedback/complaints.htm .

Write to them and tell them that not only is privatizing Social Security in order to increase Wall Street profits a criminally stupid idea, the use of government funds to promote the highly political initiative verges on criminal as well. Certainly it is the ultimate example of moral rot. Tell me again about this 'values' based presidency.

For those of you not yet up to speed on this approaching train wreck here is a good overview from a surprisingly conservative source--Martin Wolk. Please, for those of you who count yourself moderate Republicans, pay a second or two of attention. This is an extraordinarily bad idea. As Wolk notes at the end of his piece, quoting the Republican hero of the decade, Ronald Reagan:

"For too long, too many people dependent on Social Security have been cruelly frightened by individuals seeking political gain through demagoguery and outright falsehood, and this must stop," Reagan said. "The future of Social Security is much too important to be used as a political football."

Below is a sample letter


Regarding the use of the Social Security trust fund in order to create propaganda to better enable the destruction of that fund--I am appalled and disgusted. If you're a Republican and reading this, here's what Ronald Reagan had to say about such primitive political machinations:

"For too long, too many people dependent on Social Security have been cruelly frightened by individuals seeking political gain through demagoguery and outright falsehood, and this must stop," Reagan said. "The future of Social Security is much too important to be used as a political football."


Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
ailsagirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 11:40 PM
Response to Original message
1. Good to hear-- AARP is a huge organization with, I hope,
lots of clout. Not to mention AFLCIO, who is very much opposed to *'s little plan.

It burns me up to think that chimp, who will never have to worry about $$, is trying to screw things up for those of us who have been counting on SS later on. Maybe not as an entire means of support, but certainly it will be a help.

And it's OUR money!!

God, how stingy, mean, and downright loathsome can they get??

No one will ever convince me this moron "won" the election-- he's far too despised. He's AGAINST "the people," big time.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Mystified Donating Member (141 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 11:46 PM
Response to Original message
2. Check this out
Great column on Social Security "crisis". I wish someone would grow the cahones to bring up these points on the network news.

http://www.usnews.com/usnews/issue/050131/opinion/31edi...

<snip>

"...In other words, there is no current financial crisis in the program. So, what's with all the hand-wringing? Well, if you make pessimistic predictions about economic growth, immigration, and wage inflation, the projected revenues may not be enough to pay benefits. The Social Security actuaries, for instance, project that growth will average only 1.6 percent after 2010, about half the rate we have enjoyed in the past century. But if the economy grows at anywhere near the levels that Bush's own budget experts project, the surplus, in effect, would never run out. And more-optimistic forecasts than those of the Social Security actuaries are supported by the recent history of economic and demographic trends."

<snip>

"President Bush has a different answer to all of the above. In pursuit of his "ownership society," he wants to move Social Security toward "greater individual opportunity, risk, and reward" by allowing individuals to carve themselves private investment accounts out of Social Security payroll taxes, much like a 401(k) plan. This raises a whole host of problems. It discriminates against poorer workers, for one thing. Why? Because the lower your income, the less you have to invest, and the smaller your return will be. The Bush plan offers nothing close to the financial security of the existing program. Then there's this: Are individual investors sophisticated enough to match the higher returns now being forecast? At least 10 studies analyzed by the Securities and Exchange Commission indicate a disturbing level of financial illiteracy. Only 12 percent of the investors studied could distinguish between a load and a no-load mutual fund; only 14 percent understood the difference between a growth stock and an income stock; only 38 percent knew that when interest rates rise, bond prices fall; almost half somehow believed that diversification guarantees that their portfolio would not suffer if the market dropped; and 40 percent thought that the trust fund's operating costs would not be deducted from their investment return."

<snip>

"Furthermore, historical stock-market returns are not a guide for future performance. A lot depends on when you buy or sell, especially when America faces not only dramatic fiscal problems but a threat to profit margins in growing global competition, particularly from India and China. If someone retires after the market dives, he or she could lose a good chunk of retirement savings. The market, after all, fell by 45 percent in real terms between 1968 and 1978--never mind the bust between 2000 and 2002. Individuals would be glad to pocket gains, but if millions of retirees suffered dramatic losses, there would be enormous political pressure to come to their rescue. We would very likely end up privatizing gains and socializing the losses."

<snip>

"Of course, the idea of an "ownership society" is to change the relationship of Americans to their government so they look less to Washington than to themselves (and, just maybe, vote more Republican). No doubt some Americans could build savings and more wealth and have a nest egg for retirement. No doubt there is value in savings and self-reliance, in making private investment decisions, planning ahead, and increasing distance from the government. But there are other values in the very title of the program--Social Security. "Social" surely implies a contract to help manage poverty among the old and to know that our society provides a minimum income for all of our fellow citizens in their retirement years. And "security" means buffering the harshness and cruelty of the markets so that the well-being of the elderly is not dependent on shrewd stock picks and hot mutual funds that enrich some but fail the very people who need Social Security benefits the most.

Privatization thus gets things upside down. Social Security was not meant to re-create the free market; it was intended to insure against the vagaries and cruelties of the market and to permit Americans to count on the promise that the next generation will take care of them in their old age."
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Carolab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 11:49 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. All of these points and more made at the hearing today. It was GREAT.
Once again, Dayton implied that * was LYING to America!!!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Mystified Donating Member (141 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 11:55 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. What????
Bush? Lie to America????? The nerve of that guy! What country has he been living in the last 4 years???? To suggest that Bush would lie to America! <sarcasm off now>
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Daphne08 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 02:54 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. I just watched the rerun of the hearing and
I feel that three important issues were discussed.

1) There were experts at the hearing who refute what we have been told about Social Security...that is not going bankrupt! On the contrary, it is a sound system that will be able to pay FULL benefits for the next 40 or 50 years. Yes, there is a need for some adjustment, but that to privatize would only make matters worse -- for the public and for the Social Security Administration.

2) There were also two longtime Social Security employees who (among others) feel that they are being pressured (by the System and by the Administration) to present a political agenda to the public, to us -- that the system is broken, that it is going bankrupt and that privatization is the answer.

3) Also, it was reported that Social Security funds (our dollars) have been used to promote the agenda of privatization. (I cannot remember the name of the woman or her title, but I'm certain that someone here can.)

Very interesting and enlightening. I sincerely wish that every American could have watched that hearing!


Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Carolab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 03:46 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. We need this same type of hearing for election reform.
Why can't this committee or another set up a nationally televised hearing just like this, with election reform experts, to discuss the provisions of Ensign's bill or to simply discuss what their recommendations are to fix HAVA?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Helga Scow Stern Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 03:39 AM
Response to Original message
6. That was an inspiring hearing....
Those Senators are fired up and onto this administration. Dayton said, "People are frightened about their Social Security benefits not being there because they hear it from the president. They should be able to believe their president." And he launched into a tirade about how they lied about Iraq. But all of them are fired up--Lautenberg with his legislation that will force anyone who cooperates with these improper requests from the administration to pay back any monies received, for instance. Sarbanes talked about how these phony groups are forming in a propaganda effort to misinform the people. He cautioned everyone not to trust groups with names like Retirees to Protect Social Security. They seem to be aware of massive propaganda efforts on all fronts. This is the first of several hearings on many things...next will be improper contracts.

How long can the Republicans keep ignoring this?

They all said that it is just unprecedented, what is going on on all fronts.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Fri Sep 19th 2014, 02:49 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009) Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC