Security: If ItAin't Broke...
who saw on CNN the crowd of Republican opponents to Social Security
outside Senator Rick Santorum's anti-Social Security town hall meeting
in Philadelphia last week chanting "Hey! Hey! , Ho! Ho! Social
Security has got to go!" has to ask himself if this new plan
to "privatize" Social Security might not just be the first
step towards getting rid of it permanently.
One also has
to question the Bush Administration's claims that Social Security
is broke, given the massive pile of evidence that it is not. They
are willing borrow trillions of dollars in addition to what we are
borrowing to support the war in Iraq (the interest on which goes
to the moneyed class which is lending the dough) to get your future
into the volatile stock market. Has everyone forgotten that the
stocks and mutual funds went down the toilet not that long ago?
And how can you trust the financial calculations of this administration?
Look at how well they have hidden the costs of the war in Iraq,
not even including them in the budget!
It would appear
that one tenet of the Far Right is that government should get out
of the business of running social programs. This is consistent with
the theory that many followers of the Neocon radical morality to
see the recipients of social assistance as lacking self-discipline,
motivation, and wanting everything done for them by the government.
According to Professor George Lakoff at Berkeley, in his book "Moral
Politics" that makes them" immoral" in the eyes of
the Neocons. Conversely, the self-disciplined and successful are
"moral" and deserve all they get, with the pursuit of
their own self-interest being the glorious guiding principle for
promoting the common good. Hence the big tax cuts for the rich.
Why should the prudent ants help the profligate grasshoppers?
It is interesting
to note that Social Security is now being thought of as a personal
retirement account. The long-range goal of the Far Right seems to
be getting rid of government help of any kind for the elderly, disabled,
incompetent, unempowered, and immoral folks. If you were not prudent
enough to put your money in the stock market, then you deserve to
be pushing a shopping cart with all your possessions in it and eating
It is interesting
that many Republicans have backed off from this looney plan, and
even the conservative AARP is against it. It does not take too much
imagination to consider the incredible amounts we are spending on
making war and wonder what would happen it these funds were turned
to a more useful purpose.
I have seen
estimates of from two to 10 trillion dollars as the cost of getting
people converted into the new private accounts. Do you have any
idea how much that is? Suppose you counted dollar bills at the rate
of 1 per second. It would take 30,000 years non-stop, day and night
to count $1 trillion. Now do this a few more times, and you can
see you are not going to make it in your lifetime. Just the cost
of converting to the new system is incomprehensible to most of us!
This a very large consideration when considering keeping and improving
the present system, which is working rather well. (By the way, Congressmen
DO pay into Social Security despite the rumours that keep circulating
on the Internet)
We pay taxes
as dues for living in a civilized society that makes life better
for its people. If raising them is necessary to do that, and if
the rich will have to sell off some of their yachts and villas in
the Mediterranean, so be it. If our biggest corporations who have
fled overseas to avoid paying their fair share of taxes have to
be held accountable, so be it. If we have to cut our military down
to a force that can defend the U.S. instead of trying to the cops
of the world, so be it.
to the Constitution reads that one of the fundamental purposes of
our government is to "...promote the general welfare."
It is hard to see how turning a guaranteed benefit into a deficit-financed
gamble on Wall Street is going to do that.
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