Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Social Security - Will you be needing it?

The current disasters in the financial market reminded me of my Social Security. With the election coming up its time to ask yourself whether you want to keep it.

Bush promised to privatize social security when he was running for election in 2000 and 2004. McCain supported privatization and bank deregulation. Obama opposed privatization and bank deregulation. Neither has changed their positions on these issues. Why are they issues?

If we had privatized social security all or part of your retirement benefits would have been invested in the stock market and managed privately. How have your private investments done in the last 4 years; in the last 8 years? If you lost money then add to that the cost of the wealthy fund manager’s salaries and bonuses for managing your privatized social security fund. Now add to that the current impact of the deregulation of banking especially mortgage banking. Many of the banks with which your retirement savings would have been invested are now being bought by you the taxpayer, being sold for pennies on the dollar or closed and forgotten, i.e. total loss. When the Dow lost 500 points yesterday imagine what would have happened to your privatized social security. It could now be worth as little as an Enron employee’s retirement – nothing. By the way, McCain's senior advisor Phil Gramm sponsored the deregulation that allowed Enron to rape the energy industry until they got caught cheating. Matter of fact that deregulation is still a law which the Democrats have not been able to overturn because McCain and his Republicans control the Senate and Bush will veto any measure to restore regulation of the commodity futures trading.

What you see happening to the stock market and investment banks would have happened to your privatized social security retirement if the Bush/McCain privatization act had been passed.

Bush and McCain said that privatization was the best way to save Social Security but there was another way. If we had increased the social security revenues by 0.54 percent of the Gross Domestic Product, which is equal to 3% of the federal budget (less than we spend in Iraq) Social Security would be funded at the current benefit levels into the 22nd century. That seems like a lot of money but it is only one-fourth as much as Bush’s tax cuts! Matter of fact it’s about equal to the tax cuts received by the taxpayers with incomes over $500,000 a year. Mind you now, I’m not talking about all their taxes, I’m only talking about the tax cut that little George Bush No. 43 gave them.

Well they needed that tax cut and Obama protected us from the latest attempt at privatization, so we still have our Social Security but it isn’t guaranteed beyond 2041. It’s hard to believe but Privatized Social Security was only projected to last until 2025. You weren’t worried about staying around until then were you?

So while you’re listening to the candidates telling you how they would fix this mess remember that only one of them got you here with deregulation and it could have been worse.

Your vote will count a lot this November. In part, it will determine whether you will have social security to go along with your huge retirement savings.

1 comment:

karen said...

Yeah, I'm third party chick this year. I am a Libertarian at heart.