"The Wondering Jew"
Feb. 07, 2005 - 21:12 MST
THE WONDERING JEW
I’m not sure if an entry of mine will hit Diaryland tonight or not. Trying to type it in Word and paste it into my site.
My guru has spent time with me tonight and put me through my paces and feels that I, perhaps, can bull my way through it.
And if I successfully do it, wonder if I will have to edit it ?
Social Security seems to be classified as Social Insecurity now. Molly Ivins of Creator’s Syndicate has a column in Sundays The Denver Post/Rocky Mountain News - In part:
Reform plan just adds to the disaster
“To this cascading disaster, Bush wants to add $2 trillion in transition costs over the next decade for his scheme to partially privatize Social Security. This is one I’m really having trouble figuring out.”
There is no crisis in the Social Security program. It is not in trouble. If nothing is done, come 2042 – or 2052 if you believe the Congressional Budget Office – Social Security will have to start paying less than its promised benefits, but will still be able to pay seniors more than it does today in constant dollars. You can easily fix even that minor problem by lifting the cap on FICA taxes now at $90,000. Why should people who make more than $90,000 have their higher income exempted, when every nickel made by people below the poverty level is taxed ? As Paul Krugman of The New York Times points out, if you accept the Rosy Scenario the administration is using to paint privatization as an effective scheme, then Social Security is in no trouble at all and we don’t need to do a thing about it – economic growth will take care of it all. Contrariwise, if you accept the doom -and-gloom scenario the administration uses to prove that Social Security is in trouble, then there is no way the privatization scheme will be anything other than a disaster.
Dogged if I know what these people have against Social Security, a program that works just fine and has kept elderly people from having to eat cat food for many years now. Because the right wing has somehow become a cult of anti-government nut-hatches, I have no idea where we’re headed.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Then Diana DeGette, U.S. Rep, the Democratic Chief deputy whip of the House Has the following to say, in part:
“What President Bush has not discussed, and failed to mention in his State of the Union address, is that the trust fund will have at least $3.6 trillion in assets – in today’s dollars – in 2018, In fact even the pessimistic scenario, the trust fund will have enough money to provide full benefits to retirees until at least 2042. The real financial danger is in the enormous cost of the president’s privatization plan. To pay to transition Social Security to private accounts, the president will have to borrow at least $2 trillion over the first ten years of the plan. That’s on top of the already record $427 billion national budget deficit.”
“Even though the president will have to borrow $2 trillion, his plan to privatize Social Security does not come without a price to people receiving benefits. Because the transition to private accounts is so expensive, his plan would cut guaranteed benefits by at least 40 percent. That mans people who are now paying into the system cannot count on a sufficient benefit when they retire. The private investments would not automatically make up for this reduction in benefits, leaving unsuccessful investors with far less money than they need to get by in retirement. Ultimately, on top of the reduced benefits and higher deficits, taxpayers would also be left to foot the bill for these retirees.”
Social Security is necessary precisely because we understand that investing contains risks that can upend even the most carefully planned retirement. The market goes down as well as up and even investments in well-run companies can lose value at inopportune times. This was very evident to anyone who had money in the stock market during the dot-com bust of the early 2000s In fact over the past seven decades, stocks have lost money nearly one out of every four years –this would leave many seniors in a privatized system out of luck if they retired during a down-turn.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ The term privatization always makes me shiver. Seems that it costs our government (paying with our tax dollars) more to privatize something than it saves. Prisons for instance, wonder if anyone knows how many prisons are privately owned in our country ? I also wonder how much more it is costing us to have private prisons ?
It just doesn’t make much sense to farm something out to private endeavor so they can make a profit on a duty that our government should be fulfilling. It just seems twisted.
Molly mentions a cap on FICA taxes now at $90,000 and she asks, “Why should people who make more than $90,000 have their higher income exempted, when every nickel made by people below the poverty level is taxed ?” Seems to me that there is inequity built into the system in so many ways that most of us are, if not behind the eight ball, are being threatened by being run down by it.
Also, I know this is an unpopular thought, and with the exception of income from investment I cannot see why someone could be legally working a job and drawing Social Security too - often as well as drawing a pension.
And as I thought the other night, why not put everyone in the Social Security system ? Then members of Congress and all others who enjoy fancy privileges and pensions might find a way to reorganize Social Security ? But, thinking about that, who or what department would see that the biggies would play fair ?
Maybe it would be better if the powers that be go back to the Drawing Board . . . . . . . . . .0 comments so far