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Imagine if W. had been able to get away with privatizing Social Security!

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bushmeister0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-25-08 12:19 PM
Original message
Imagine if W. had been able to get away with privatizing Social Security!
Just imagine! All the money all of us workers (especially the older ones) have put into the SS fund all our working lives would surely have been lost by all these crooks on Wall Street, by now, meaning tens of millions of baby boomers not only losing their jobs and homes but also their hopes of receiving some meager retirement.

Just go ahead and give the nation's retirement fund to Bernie Madoff, he'll know what to do with it!

And, as if that wouldn't have been disastrous enough, even though the Social Security Trust Fund is not counted as a part of the federal budget, the Treasury regularly "barrows" tens of millions of dollars from it in "IOUs" to hide just how bad the government's finances really are. All of that would have been gone, too, and Obama would really be hard pressed to find any money to do anything.

What got me thinking about all of this was an article in the NYT this morning which reported:

"Legal and financial experts say that a loosening of enforcement measures, cutbacks in staffing at the Securities and Exchange Commission, and a shift in resources toward terrorism at the F.B.I. have combined to make the federal government something of a paper tiger in investigating securities crimes . . .

There were 133 prosecutions for securities fraud in the first 11 months of this fiscal year. That is down from 437 cases in 2000 and from a high of 513 cases in 2002, when Wall Street scandals from Enron to WorldCom led to a crackdown on corporate crime, the data showed.

At the S.E.C., agency investigations that led to Justice Department prosecutions for securities fraud dropped from 69 in 2000 to just 9 in 2007, a decline of 87 percent, the data showed."

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/25/business/25fraud.html...

What do you know about that? 9/11 was not only a useful excuse to shred the constitution and start a war or two, it was also good for Wall Street.

I seem to remember Bush & Co. squandering almost all their campaign funds fighting McCain in 2000, doing stupid things like wasting $2 million in Arizona and losing by 26% in the primary there, for example. They were in such short supply of cash for Super Tuesday and the general election, that W. had to make an emergency trip to New York to talk to his "base" on Wall Street, who bailed him out. (I'm sure there was no type of quid pro quo, discussed (sarcasm!)).

I note here, an article from 2000 by publcicampaign.org, listing the amount of hard and soft cash donors to the 2000 election cycle.

"Securities and Investment:

Wall Street investment firms such as Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley, Dean Witter have always been generous supporters of politicians of both political parties. With interests as varied as promoting international trade agreements to privatization of Social Security, they have reason to spread their good will around. There is no question that funneling public retirement funds into the private marketas would happen under various proposals to privatize Social Securitywould be a huge windfall for investment firms. The Senators, House members, and President elected in November will be crucial players in deciding whether this happens and how. Nearly 60 percent of Wall Streets campaign cash comes in the form of hard money."

http://library.publicampaign.org/studies/2000/10/hard-f...

Wall Street gave a whopping $34,289,346 to the GOP, compared with $23,314,859 to the Dems. The Oil and Gas industry gave the GOP $17,999,584.

As bad as W. has left things, and it's pretty bad; two wars raging, a city lost, our international reputation in ruins, Gitmo, the loss of our civil liberties, the global economy in free fall etc, at least he wasn't able to take us all the way back to 1900 with the loss of Social Security.
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MercutioATC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-25-08 12:23 PM
Response to Original message
1. You do realize that he was only talking about 4-5%...and that would be optional.
It's still a stupid idea, but nobody would have come close to losing "all" of their money.
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bushmeister0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-25-08 12:25 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. "Optional." Right.
What they say and what they actually do are always the same thing.
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MercutioATC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-25-08 12:29 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. It's pretty simple. People would have the option of privately investing 4-5% of their SS money.
...or, they could leave it where it was.


No bogeyman here.
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shanti Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-25-08 12:34 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. do you actually believe that
after all the bullshit that's been presented already? i don't believe for a second that "options" were involved. the SS fund was the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. with the market nosedives, much of it has been looted already. they just didn't get the whole tamale.
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MercutioATC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-25-08 12:38 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. Yes I do...because it makes sense.
Just a small fraction of SS money being privately invested would be a windfall to Wall Street brokers. They might have tried for more later, but I think the 4-5% was honestly what they were trying to do.
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RC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-25-08 06:08 PM
Response to Reply #6
16. Yes MercutioATC, there is a bogeyman there.
That bogeyman would be in the form of LESS Social Security money. That would strengthen their excuses to further weaken and ultimately to kill it. Small steps can do the same damage as large steps, only it takes longer, that is all.
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wellstone dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-25-08 12:25 PM
Response to Original message
2. When I have my tinfoil hat on
I believe they knew this was coming long ago, and they proposed privatization as a way to delay the impact and/or to ensure that there would be more people at the ground level impacted, so that they could be sure of less opposition to "emergency" fixes that truly benefited only the rich.
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bushmeister0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-25-08 12:28 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Well, they're doing pretty well with the "emergency" fixes as it is.
Edited on Thu Dec-25-08 12:28 PM by bushmeister0
TARP comes to mind.

I think you're giving them too much credit to think they knew this was coming. This is probably as big of a surprise as New Orleans flooding, to them.
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Luna_C_06 Donating Member (183 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-25-08 05:46 PM
Response to Reply #4
15. Oh, they knew New Orleans was going down.
They just acted stupid to get away with how they reacted.
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suston96 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-25-08 12:29 PM
Response to Original message
5. Glad that never happened but.....SS and Medicare will have problems if.......
....jobs continue to be lost by the millions.

A shrinking economy means lost jobs. Barack Obama has a massive challenge ahead of him - stopping the job losses.....

Or.....finding another way to fund Social Security and Medicare.
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-25-08 12:33 PM
Response to Original message
7. Hello - let me repeat that
H-E-L-L-O

Bush and his cronies did just privatize Social Security.

Their privatization plan is called the 8.8 Trillion dollar BailOut plan. Our taxpayer money is going to Paulson and Kashkari, who have given it to bamnks, who aree doing nothing about offering it to capiatalize community banks, as many in Congress who voted for the plan were led to believe.

Google Nassim Nicholas Taleb and Charlie Rose and you can hear Rose's reaction to some bad news.

It is the reason why many investment and financial experts say that it is possible our nation will be bankrupt over the next 18 to 36 months.


Google 'Nassim Nicholas Taleb" and Charlie Rose and you can hear Rose's reaction to some bad news.


Google Kucinich and Kashkari (opr Issa and Kashkari) and learn about how the 'BailOut' was merely a re-distribution of the wealth. Upward, not downward.
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appal_jack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-25-08 03:42 PM
Response to Reply #7
14. Correct, BUT...
You are of course correct that the $800+ Billion TARP Bailout is being maneuvered as a back-door seizure/privatization of all public resources, SS and Medicare included. However, the American people have one remaining trump card: the IOU's written to SS and Medicare are prior obligations.

The current proposals for SS and Medicare 'reform' are tactics to re-arrange this order, and send we the FICA-taxpaying public to the back of the line.

We must not allow this to occur.

One of the litmus tests that I will hold all politicians to (Democrats especially) will be whether or not they stand to protect the obligations that are due the public in the forms of SS and Medicare IOU's. Those contracts should be as sacred, no more sacred, than the debts we owe to anyone else.

-app
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-25-08 07:54 PM
Response to Reply #14
17. Prior obligations will mean nothing when the government is bankrupt.
Edited on Thu Dec-25-08 07:55 PM by truedelphi
I mean, I wish the Social Security and MedicCare obligations would be meaningful, but they won't be.

And Congress won't care - as long as they get their pensions, too bad about us.

The only satisfaction is that with 8.8 Trillion dollars already gone, Congress critters may be just as out of luck as the rest of us.

770 billion given away by the government between August 2007 to Sepetember 2008
Then the 700 Billion dollars of TARP
Then another 2 Trillion bucks
Then the 150 Billion to AIG
Plus the other guarantees, loans, and "gifts" made to supposedly 'BailedOut' our economy
Total = 8.8 Trillion dollars
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Kansas Wyatt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-25-08 12:33 PM
Response to Original message
8. The Democrats NEED to remind the public...
That Bush, and especially the REPUBLICANS, wanted to dump Social Security into their unregulated stock market, and give it away to all the Wall Street Frauds everyone is bitching about today.
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bushmeister0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-25-08 12:50 PM
Response to Reply #8
12. Yes, thank you! That's the point.
All this 4 or 5% talk is just the kind of diversionary minutia the dark side loves to pull out to obfuscate the truth of the matter.

Not that anyone is listening. Liane Hansen is baking Christmas cookies on NPR. No real news for another week, on NPR, at least.
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Toucano Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-25-08 12:36 PM
Response to Original message
10. Go tell it on the mountain!
It can't be said too loudly or too often.
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Steerpike_Denver Donating Member (114 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-25-08 12:50 PM
Response to Original message
13. Just thank FSM that Iraq wasn't a "cakewalk"
They expected the whole project in Iraq to take 6 months--a year, tops. Then they would have all that pricelss "war hero" political capital to spend on what they REALLY wanted to accomplish. Privatizing Social Security was just the beginning. They wanted to completely eliminate public education, environmental regulation, workers' rights and government oversight, for starters. To the extent that they succeeded, just imagine where we would be if he was popular!
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