Social Security ~ Bridge to Eternity

Written by Grandma Bee on January 7th, 2005

(Updated on 1/30/05 by Grandma Bee)

The attacks on Social Security are nothing new. The Republican Party has been trying to gut it from the beginning. Their philosophy is that everyone should be self made millionaires to enjoy retirement. The Republican leadership doesn’t understand that most Americans feel blessed to have a family and home. For the most of us wealth is out of the question, but does that mean we should be punished with poverty? I don’t believe that President Bush sees the harm that he would bring to older America and I don’t think he is evil, just wrong!

“George Bush, himself, projected in 1978, when he was running for Congress, that the trust fund would be broke by 1988. His math was quite a bit off, as it is now.” The Mississippi Press

If W was wrong then, wrong about WMD, and wrong about so many other things, why should we believe that he is right now?

This is a good summation of the Social Security issue from

 

Fast facts about Social Security

UNION-TRIBUNE

January 30, 2005



History: President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law Aug. 14, 1935.

Tax: A tax on wages pays pension benefits for retirees.

Original wage tax: 1 percent

Today: 12.4 percent – 6.2 percent from employers and 6.2 percent from employees. Income above $90,000 is not taxed.

Benefits:The first monthly benefit check – paid to Ida May Fuller of Ludlow, Vt., in January 1940 – was for $22.54.

Average monthly benefit for retired worker now: $955. Social Security also provides payments to surviving spouses, dependent children and Americans with disabilities.

Recipients today: Almost 48 million people

Trust fund:Payroll tax annual revenue usually exceeded benefit costs, so Social Security built up a $1.7 trillion surplus. The money is invested in Treasury bonds – in other words, loaned to the federal government, which pays interest.

The problem: In 1940, there were 42 workers paying taxes for every retiree drawing benefits. Today, there are 3.3 workers per retiree. By 2050, it will be about 2-to-1.

Red ink: Benefit costs will exceed annual revenue from payroll taxes starting in 2018, according to Social Security's actuaries, based on cautious economic projections. That will force Social Security to start cashing in its Treasury bonds. By 2042, the bonds will be gone, the actuaries project. At that point, payroll taxes will cover 73 percent of benefit costs. That would require benefits to be cut by $600 per month per married couple, on average.

-Knight Ridder News Service

 

Here are a few articles about the subject that are worth reading;

 

AARP: Don't mess with Social Security
Chicago Tribune (subscription) – Chicago,IL,USA
As the debate begins in Congress, the pressing question is whose support he needs will be running for re financial challenges–just not the way Bush envisions.
See all stories on this topic

Social Security plan has public anxious
Fort Wayne Journal Gazette – Fort Wayne,IN,USA
If the Social Security system is running out of heading toward bankruptcy as Bush said — how does Congress uses the surpluses Social Security generates from

Wall Street firms cautious on Social Security
Chicago Sun-Times – Chicago,IL,USA
been a curious silence on Wall Street since President Bush proposed that However Congress structures privatization, the companies running the private
See all stories on this topic

Doubts over US social security reform
Financial Times – UK
one of President George W. Bush's top priorities for in winning round the people and the Congress. personal social security accounts without running up ruinous

 


 

13 Comments so far ↓

  1. Anonymous says:


        The problem is that Social Security is mostly supported by the middle class for only those dollars earned under 80,000 are subjected to the Social Security tax. If we were to make all dollars earned subjected to that tax with no loop holds then Social Security could be solvent in just a few years. The trouble is that there are those who do not want it to be solvent! Listen here to what was said by Mr. Kerry and Mr. Bush.

  2. Anonymous says:

    You are right, that is all that is needed. Well, maybe one thing more, a cap on how much it will pay out or better yet means tested it and only pay those who income falls below $60,000 a year.

  3. Anonymous says:


        Mr. Bush has prospered by spreading fear throughout the land. He told us that there were WMD in Iraq and because of that we had to take Saddam down. After the passing of a year of war, 1300 Americans dead, tens of thousands maimed for life, and a hundred thousand dead innocent Iraqis we are told there were no weapons of mass destruction. Fear has been the paramount tool of this illegitimate administration; they have used it to cripple this great Nation.

        Now, Mr. Bush is spreading even more fear with his lies about Social Security. The fact is that it is 100% solvent until the year 2042 and with a little help can go on into infinity. All we need do is apply the Social Security tax to all income, instead of only applying it to the first $80,000 earned. In our poll about Social Security 67% said that the answer was to have the rich pay their fair share. So I would quote the words of our greatest President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who said that

  4. Anonymous says:

    This was emailed to me;

    President Bush's plans to “reform” Social Security, but unfortunately, much of the rhetoric being used involves scare tactics on the part of pro-privatization interests. Please act today to strengthen Social Security, and thank you for receiving Political Alerts from Care2 and ThePetitionSite.

    In this issue: 1. Protect Working Families, Not Wall Street

    2. Drug Companies Agree to Voluntary Disclosure -­ Keep Up the Pressure ___________________________________________

    1. Protect Working Families, Not Wall Street Petition: http://www.care2.com/go/z/20239

    Privatization advocates would have us believe that Social Security is on the brink of bankruptcy, and that only Wall Street can save the system. But the reality is that Social Security is not in danger of running out of money any time soon – the Social Security Administration estimates the trust fund will last until 2042, and many economists estimate the fund will last much longer than that.

    Another fact the privatizers don't want you to know: privatization will cost a lot – and working families will be the ones who pay.

     Ask the people of Chile -­ they've gone down this road. Chile instituted a system of mandatory private savings accounts in the early 1980s, and administrative costs there exceed 20 percent. Our Social Security program only spends 1 percent on administration. This is your money, going straight into the pockets of Wall Street.

    Medicare also runs at a much lower administrative cost (2 percent) than private insurance companies do (8 to 15 percent, according to most estimates). We need to strengthen our security and our health care protections, not increase costs by making Wall Street and insurance companies richer.

    Sign this petition to Congress today: tell them to strengthen and protect our current Social Security system! We need health care for all and protections for working families, not more money for bankers and insurance companies. http://www.care2.com/go/z/20239

    Read an interesting op-ed about the so-called Social Security “crisis”: http://www.care2.com/go/z/20241

    ___________________________________________

    2. Drug Companies Agree to Voluntary Disclosure -­ Keep Up the Pressure: http://www.care2.com/go/z/20243

    The pharmaceutical industry has just agreed to voluntary disclosure of clinical drug trial information, excluding exploratory Phase I studies. This is a good step in the right direction, and is thanks in large part to activists like you – but this plan falls short of the mandatory, complete clinical trial registry that is needed to fully protect consumers.

    Help us keep up the pressure – urge Congress to support a mandatory clinical drug trial registry. A voluntary system is a good start, but we need companies to disclose all studies, to provide details on clinical trial design, and to include information from early, exploratory studies as well. With full information on prescription drugs, doctors and patients will be better equipped to make informed decisions.

    Please sign this petition today: http://www.care2.com/go/z/20243 

     Read more about the drug industry's voluntary plan here: http://www.care2.com/go/z/20245

     

  5. Anonymous says:

       Grandma Bee,

       Your first link said it best in the first two paragraphs

    Social Security is indisputably one of the most successful government programs of all time. It provides monthly benefits to some 44 million Americans who are retired, disabled or the survivor of a deceased parent. It provides most of the income for older Americans, providing some 64 percent of their income. It has lifted generations of seniors out of poverty. That is fact, and must be always present when considering the push to dismantle Social Security.

    Social Security is, simply, not in crisis. There isn't even a problem that small — and more importantly safe — changes won't solve. The myth of crisis is a calculated lie perpetrated in order to create an urgency for radical change. Using conservative estimates, from the Congressional Budget Office, the long-term challenges in Social Security do not manifest themselves until 2053. Even then Social Security has 80 percent of needed funds. That shortfall is smaller than the amount needed in 1983, the last time we tampered with Social Security.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Thank you, I really don't see why there is this rush to gut Social Security.

  7. Anonymous says:

    It is a terrible thing called greed, those have so much want more. Such is the love of money!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Yes, Social Security has worked just find for some 70 years, it is in the best shape ever. It is an outright lie to say it is in crisis! I don

  9. Anonymous says:


        The Republicans like to bring up that President Clinton had a plan to add to Social Security. There are two problems; 1) there was a surplus then and 2) it was Social Security plus no minus. I am all for the private pension to be added to Social Security, so long as it does not take away from it. After all Social Security was only suppose to supply only 1/3 of the needs at retirement. The other thirds were suppose to be a pension and personal savings. With the fact that many Americans are unable to save and do not have a pension, we can say something has to be done. Here is an idea improve the economy and the rest will follow.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Check the facts
    With budget deficits now estimated to hit $448 billion for FY 2005, and the president calling for permanent extension of his tax cuts and $2 trillion in new debt to privatize Social Security, threats to progressive priorities are real and present.
    The conservative strategy is well under way: aggressively slash taxes on the wealthy; run up huge budget deficits on the premise that no one cares; and then force massive cuts in critical domestic spending.
    Progressives must be vigilant in exposing this ruse to the American public and highlighting the wrong choices and moral-less values of conservative leadership.
    American Progress has been working to develop clear, concise messages to defeat the president

  11. Anonymous says:


       Great site; I will have to add it to the links.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Here is an interesting article:
    Bush's State Of The Union: Social Security “Bankruptcy?”
    posted February 4, 2005
    In his State of the Union Address, President Bush said again that the Social Security system is headed for “bankruptcy,” a term that could give the wrong idea. Actually, even if it goes “bankrupt” a few decades from now, the system would still be able to pay about three-quarters of the benefits now promised.
    Bush also made his proposed private Social Security accounts sound like a sure thing, which they are not. He said they “will” grow fast enough to provide a better return than the present system. History suggests that will be so, but nobody can predict what stock and bond markets will do in the future.
    Bush left out any mention of what workers would have to give up to get those private accounts — a proportional reduction or offset in guaranteed Social Security retirement benefits. He also glossed over the fact that money in private accounts would be “owned” by workers only in a very limited sense – under strict conditions which the President referred to as “guidelines.” Many retirees, and possibly the vast majority, wouldn't be able to touch their Social Security nest egg directly, even after retirement, because the government would take some or all of it back and convert it to a stream of payments guaranteed for life.
    Click the link below for the full article:
    http://www.factcheck.org/article305m.html

Leave a Comment