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Another Great Depression – Grandma Millie

Monday, February 7th, 2005

   From the conception of Social Security the Republican Party has been opposed to it. One can only speculate as to why that is, but no one can speculate about the successfulness Social Security.

Social Security works because it speaks to a universal human need. All people throughout human history have faced the uncertainties brought on by death, disability and old age. . . Social Security has grown to become an essential facet of modern life. One in six Americans receives a Social Security benefit, and about 98 percent of all workers are in jobs covered by Social Security. Social Security benefits comprise about 5% of the nation's total economic output. From 1940, when slightly more than 222,000 people received monthly Social Security benefits, until today, when almost 45 million people receive such benefits, Social Security has grown steadily. And Social Security benefits provide income security not just to the elderly. Nearly 1 in 3 beneficiaries are not retirees.
The SSI program, meanwhile, provides needed income support to over 6 million recipients, 31% of whom are aged individuals; 56% disabled adults; and 13% disabled children.

“We can never insure one-hundred percent of the population against one-hundred percent of the hazards and vicissitudes of life. But we have tried to frame a law which will give some measure of protection to the average citizen and to his family against the loss of a job and against poverty-ridden old age. This law, too, represents a cornerstone in a structure which is being built, but is by no means complete…. It is…a law that will take care of human needs and at the same time provide for the United States an economic structure of vastly greater soundness.” — August 14, 1935 Link

   Mr. Bush’s plan to privatize Social Security will allow Wall Street to do to it what Enron did to Grandma Millie. The question is do you feel lucky? Just remember the people who were investing in Enron and World Com felt that lady luck had smiled down on them. No one feels that will now!

  Statue of Liberty Liberty for all!

According to;    Bush: “By the year 2042, the entire system would be exhausted and bankrupt . If steps are not taken to avert that outcome, the only solutions would be dramatically higher taxes, massive new borrowing, or sudden and severe cuts in Social Security benefits or other government programs.”   But how severe would those benefit cuts be? In fact there are two official projections — one by the Social Security Administration (SSA) and a somewhat less pessimistic projection by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). The President referred to the SSA projection, which calculates that the system's trust fund will be depleted in 2042. After that, the system would have legal authority to pay only 73 percent of currently promised benefits — and that figure would decline each year after, reaching 68 percent in the year 2075. The CBO doesn't project trust-fund depletion until a decade later, in 2052, and figures that the benefits cuts wouldn't be so severe, a reduction to 78% of promised benefits. But either way, even a “bankrupt” system would continue to provide most of what's promised currently. Furthermore, the President did not specify what he would do to fix the problem. He again urged creation of private Social Security accounts. But those would be of no help whatsoever in shoring up the system's finances, as acknowledged earlier in the day by a senior Bush administration official who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity:

FDR signing ActPresident Clinton signing RET bill