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Social Security Not in Crisis!

The 2004 Social Security Trustees Report concluded that Social Security can pay all benefits out to the year 2042. This was a conservative estimate that said after that it can pay only 70% of benefits (if we continue the way we have been). Other estimates say: 100% benefits thru 2052, with 80% benefits paid after. Does this sound like a crisis to you? Given the national deficit that we've been put in by the 2000 & 2004 Administration, how can Social Security be a top priority to these guys? So then, what's the motive? They are trying to manufacture another crisis to panic us and force us into more bad policy. As Howard Dean says, "I don't believe the way to fix Social Security is to have Wall Street run it so that it can be invested in Enron and Tyco and MCI." Here are some facts to use in your battles:

    Social Security is not a welfare program; there is no benefit reduction; it is a guaranteed benefit; portable as you move from job to job.

    68% of the benefits go to retired workers & dependents; 17% to disabled workers & dependents; 15% to survivors of deceased workers.

    Seniors are the age group with the lowest poverty rate. In the 1960's, they were the age group with highest level of poverty.

    Today, seniors receive Social Security approx equiv to 42% of the average worker's wage. Bush's plan will shrink that check to approx 20% of the average worker's wage.

    A crisis existed during the Reagan years because of inflation and Social Security expanded too rapidly in the 70s. We got through it in a bi-partisan manner (after Reagan's first Commission nearly got lynched).

    The Clinton years surplus put money back into the Social Security trust.

    In 1980, 39% of American worker's had defined-benefit pension plans. Now, only 21% do.

    Currently, people only pay Social Security taxes on the first $90,000 they make. [Many think an increase in the level of income that can be taxed is a way to fix the problem.]

    1/4 of those eligible to participate in a 401(k) do not participate.

    Less than 10% contribute the maximum amount allowed.

Another Other America?

Social Security privatization could set our seniors’ quality of living back 40 years. By

Harold Meyerson, http://www.prospect.org/web/page.ww?section=root&name=ViewWeb&articleId=8990


Privatization is cost-free. Please ignore that $4.5 trillion price tag. By

Matthew Yglesias



Posted by Charlene Johnston on March 4, 2005 at 09:25 AM | Permalink | Comments (7)