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L.A.'s Social Security Now- Update

by Social Security Now! Sunday, Dec. 19, 2004 at 8:44 PM
socialscrtynw@yahoo.com

Stop The Privatization Of Social Security!

Social Security Now!

socialsecuritynow-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

December 18, 2004

---STOP THE PRIVATIZATION OF SOCIAL SECURITY---

Social Security Now, is your group for the latest updates on the struggle to save Social Security from the profiteers. Use it wisely to unite & organize with others in opposition to the Bush/Wall Street plans to privatize Social Security.

These past few days, the Bush Administration has begun an all out war on the elderly and disabled with the plans to terminate Social Security. In an effort to reassure the markets that the Bush Administration can come up with the funding needed to cover the deficit shortfalls being created by the multi-trillion dollar tax cuts for the rich, Bush wants to take it out on the elderly & disabled to show the markets how macho he is.

This is known as elder abuse!

When Bush lies to the people, the people must tell Bush to shut up!

Call your Representatives, NOW! Tell them that Bush is a liar, Social Security is not in a crisis, and that you demand that it should never be privatized!

Call The Capital Switchboard! Ask to be connected to your Representative.

Call Now! Call Toll Free! 1/888/818-6641

Bush lies, people die!

America looks forward to the demise of the Bush Administration for it's crimes against humanity.

Social Security Now, opposes the privatization of Social Security and urges you to unite & organize with others to keep the profiteers from stealing this national treasure.

To join Social Security Now, just send an e-mail to:

socialsecuritynow-subscribe@yahoogroups.com



Social Security Now!



^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

F.A.I.R.: CBS Acknowledges-- But Doesn't Include-- Bush "Critics" on Social Security 

Baltimore Chronicle & Sentinel - Dec 18

December 17, 2004 On December 13, FAIR issued an action alert, directed at CBS Evening News and CNN 's NewsNight, in response to misleading or unbalanced reports on Social Security that aired on December 9. CBS appeared to respond to those criticisms on the December 15 broadcast of CBS Evening News. But the network's admission fell short of actually providing balanced Social Security coverage.

Click below for full story...

http://www.baltimorechronicle.com/121804FAIR.shtml

************

Bush is Selling a Trojan Horse, Says Author of 'The Looting of Social Security'

 

Senior Journal - December 15

Dec. 15, 2004 - "President Bush is trying to sell his privatization proposal as a plan to save Social Security, when it is actually a clever scam designed to destroy the program that conservatives have hated since its enactment in 1935," says economist Allen W. Smith, Ph.D., author of the book, "The Looting of Social Security: How the Government is Draining America's Retirement Account."

Click below for full story...

http://www.seniorjournal.com/NEWS/Opinion/4-12-15BushSelling.htm

************

From the Albuquerque Tribune:

Editorial: Social Security works; we must be wary of a 'fix'

December 18, 2004

Hang on to your assets, including your annual mailed Social Security analysis. And be skeptical about anyone selling any Social Security "reform" bill - especially one that postpones costs to future generations while altering the fundamental contract between the government and the people.

Reports of Social Security's impending death - to paraphrase Mark Twain - are greatly exaggerated. As this debate unfolds and intensifies, keep in mind that Social Security is one of the most successful programs in democratic governance.

It is worthy of preserving as is, perhaps with only relatively minor adjustments in contribution taxes on workers or benefit reductions for retirees or both. There are plenty of adages that apply, including "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Click below for full story...

http://www.abqtrib.com/albq/op_editorials/article/0,2565,ALBQ_19867_3409302,00.html

************

CalPERS trustees blast Bush's plans on Social Security

 

The Sacramento Bee - December 16

As Sean Harrigan ended his two-year tenure Wednesday as leader of the powerful California Public Employees' Retirement System, he and other trustees voted to fight President Bush's drive to privatize the ailing Social Security system.

Click below for full story...

http://www.sacbee.com/content/business/story/11782336p-12667043c.html

************

NOW Joins Aggressive Campaign to Stop Destruction of Social Security

by National Organization for Women

December 15, 2004

The National Organization for Women will join a coalition representing millions of people to expose the privatization of Social Security - an overt attempt by the right-wing to fill corporate coffers by looting our national trust fund.

NOW Joins Aggressive Campaign to Stop Destruction of Social Security

The National Organization for Women will join a coalition representing millions of people to expose the privatization of Social Security - an overt attempt by the right-wing to fill corporate coffers by looting our national trust fund. One hour before George W. Bush addresses the White House Economic Summit, where he is expected to reiterate his determination to privatize Social Security, coalition leaders will expose how this scam disproportionately hurts women. Ultimately, privatization places more money in the pockets of Wall Street brokerage firms, while destroying this vital and reliable family security insurance.



The group will launch an aggressive campaign to stop President Bush's effort to dismantle Social Security, mobilizing grassroots action in every community nationwide. Coalition leaders include National Organization for Women President Kim Gandy, Campaign for America's Future Co-director Roger Hickey, John Sweeney of the AFL-CIO, Julian Bond of the NAACP, George Kourpias of the Alliance for Retired Americans, and Marty Ford of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities, none of whom were invited to participate in the president's economic summit.



WHEN: Thursday, December 16, 2004, 12:30 p.m.

WHERE: National Press Club - First Amendment Lounge

529 14th Street, NW, Washington, D.C.



WHO: Kim Gandy, President, National Organization for Women

Roger Hickey, Co-Director, Campaign for America's Future

John Sweeney, President, AFL-CIO

Julian Bond, Chair, NAACP

George Kourpias, President, Alliance for Retired Americans

Marty Ford, Director of Legal Advocacy, The Arc, and

Treasurer, Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities

NOTE: Televisions will be available to watch President Bush's 1:30 p.m. remarks following the news conference. Coalition spokespeople will be available in the National Press Club First Amendment Lounge to comment on the President's closing remarks. Lunch will be served. Media representatives interested in covering the news conference should contact Jon Romano at romano@ourfuture.org to reserve space.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: JENNY THALHEIMER, 202-629-8669 x 116

* This news release can also be found at:

http://www.now.org/press/12-04/12-15.html

* All past news releases can be found at: http://www.now.org/press

www.now.org/press/12-04/12-15.html

************

From the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP):

http://www.cbpp.org/

Social Security Shortfall Is a Fraction of the Cost of the Tax Cuts

As noted, the deficit in Social Security over the next 75 years equals 0.7 percent of GDP according to the Social Security actuaries and 0.4 percent of GDP according to CBO.  By comparison, the cost over 75 years of the tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003, if the tax cuts are made permanent and not eroded over time by the Alternative Minimum Tax, is roughly two percent of GDP.

In other words, if the tax cuts are made permanent, their cost will be three to five times larger over the next 75 years than the size of the Social Security shortfall.  Furthermore, just the cost of the tax cuts for the top one percent of the population — a group whose annual incomes average about million — is roughly the same size as the Social Security shortfall (0.6 percent of GDP).

Even if one uses “infinite horizon” estimates, the cost of the tax cut still exceeds the size of the Social Security shortfall.  The projected cost of the tax cuts, if made permanent, is trillion under this measure, as compared to the trillion projection for the Social Security imbalance.

From the CBPP:

*************

Privatizing Social Security: loony, radical, unnecessary' 

Montana Standard - December 15

AUSTIN, Texas Relatively recent writings on Social Security, both to reform and not reform, convince me of two things. One is that we should be looking for maximum skepticism in our sources on this subject.

Click below for full story...

http://www.mtstandard.com/articles/2004/12/15/newsopinion/hjjfihiejceahb.txt

*************

From the CBPP Report On Social Security:

Would Borrowing Trillion for Individual Accounts Eliminate Trillion in Social Security Liabilities?

This analysis examines Administration statements implying that borrowing trillion or so to finance individual accounts (as part of Social Security legislation) would eliminate trillion in future unfunded Social Security liabilities.

Administration officials have been downplaying the significance of the trillion in transition costs required by some individual accounts plans, by comparing that cost to the unfunded liability in Social Security over an infinite time horizon, which totals more than trillion.  For example, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan responded recently to a question about how the White House would pay for the trillion transition cost by arguing “It’s a savings, because the cost is trillion of doing nothing, and this will actually be a savings from that cost of doing nothing.

This argument is misleading.  The trillion number is taken out of context; it refers to the Social Security shortfall not over 75 years, but into eternity.

Click below for full report...

http://www.cbpp.org/12-13-04socsec.htm

***************

Should the Budget Rules Be Changed So That Large-Scale Borrowing to Fund Individual Accounts Is Left Out of the Budget?

This analysis examines proposals to alter federal budget rules and omit from the budget several trillion dollars in costs to fund individual accounts (as part of Social Security legislation); the analysis finds such proposals fiscally irresponsible.

Recent plans to replace part of Social Security with individual accounts would significantly increase federal borrowing for at least several decades.  Over the next 10 years alone, various individual account proposals funded by borrowing would increase deficits and borrowing by between trillion and .3 trillion.

Such deficits have historically been acknowledged by supporters of individual accounts.  For example, an analysis of Social Security individual accounts issued by the President’s Council of Economic Advisers in 2004 concluded that “Personal retirement accounts widen the deficit by design — they refund payroll tax revenues to workers in the near term while lowering benefit payments from the pay-as-you-go system in later years.”

Now, however, the Bush Administration and some Congressional leaders are considering a dramatic shift in the budget accounting rules that would cloak the impact of individual account plans on the deficit.  Under the proposed shift, the borrowing associated with deficit-financed individual accounts would be omitted from the budget and would not show up as an increase in the deficit.

Those who favor this approach note that individual account proposals typically combine the creation of individual accounts today with a reduction of Social Security benefits decades into the future.  They seek to obtain immediate budgetary “credit” for these future benefit reductions.  But this radical departure from established budget rules would not be fiscally responsible.  It should not be adopted, for four reasons:

Click below for full report...

http://www.cbpp.org/12-13-04socsec2.htm



From the CBPP-- http://www.cbpp.org/

************

Anti-Social Security 

CBS News - December 13

(The Nation) This column from The Nation was written by Dean Baker . The battle for Social Security's survival is under way.

Click below for full story...

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/12/13/opinion/main660830.shtml

************

Fund to Oppose Privatizing Social Security

Wed December 15




Business - Associated Press

SACRAMENTO - The nation's largest public pension fund voted Wednesday to oppose the Bush Administration's plans to privatize part of the Social Security retirement system.

The California Public Employees Retirement System said such a plan would contribute to the national deficit, cost retirees more in management costs and potentially risk their retirement savings.

"It is clear that Social Security needs to be reformed, but privatization is not the answer," said Rob Feckner, vice president of the CalPERS board. "It will give less retirement stability for workers, and result in higher costs for America's taxpayers."

While the Bush Administration has talked of allowing younger workers to invest some of their payroll taxes into personal investment accounts, it has not yet adopted a formal plan. In order to pay all promised benefits, Social Security faces an estimated .7 trillion shortfall over 75 years.

The move by CalPERS is another example of the 8 billion Democrat-controlled pension throwing its weight around to counter a Republican agenda. It has also used its influence to force social change and corporate responsibility.

CalPERS provides retirement and health benefits to 1.4 million public employees and their families.

CalPERS: http://www.calpers.ca.gov

**************

Groups Mount Major Challenge to Bush Plan That Would Cut Social Security Benefits; White House Economic Conference Rewards Big-Money Campaign Donors; Bush Plan Undermines Social Security, Puts Retirees at Great Economic Risk

12/16/2004

To: National Desk

Contact: Toby Chaudhuri of the Campaign for America's Future, 202-955-5665 or Web: http://www.ourfuture.org

WASHINGTON, Dec. 16 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Leaders of organizations representing millions of working Americans today declared at a Campaign for America's Future news conference that they will work together to stop President Bush's plan to dismantle Social Security shortly before the president delivered his closing remarks at the White House economic conference.

The groups, including the AFL-CIO, NAACP, NOW, the Alliance for Retired Americans, disability rights groups and the Campaign for America's Future, represent a coordinated effort to mobilize citizen action in every community and Congressional district in America to save Social Security benefits that would be cut in the president's plan.

None of the speakers at the news conference, who represent the nation's largest labor, seniors, women, civil rights and disability groups nationwide, were invited to share their perspective at the president's economic summit a few blocks away.

Nearly three-quarters of the economic conference participants personally donated to Republican campaigns in recent years, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Companies represented by participants from the financial sector -- the industry that would benefit the most from President Bush's plan -- have given .8 million to the president or his party since 1999.

Campaign for America's Future co-director Roger Hickey kicked off the news conference, noting that the groups gathered had worked together to successfully defend and strengthen Social Security for more than a decade and that they are more energized now than ever.

"Social Security is at risk from the ideologues again and we're here to declare our opposition to President Bush's plan to dismantle America's most successful social protection and anti- poverty program," said Hickey. "The president's plan would dramatically cut guaranteed benefits that are very popular with the American people."

AFL-CIO President John Sweeney noted that every American worker deserves a secure retirement and that the 69-year-old Social Security program, which offers retirement and disability income to more than 47 million Americans, is under attack.

"America's working families are being squeezed as never before. Too many people are losing good jobs, health insurance, pensions and now they face the prospect of losing the one thing that has been a guarantee - Social Security," said Sweeney. "The only group that would benefit from privatization is the financial service industry, to the tune of nearly one trillion dollars in fees to manage the private accounts. This would be the largest windfall for that sector in American history."

NAACP Chairman Julian Bond said that African Americans can not afford to see their future raffled off in a risky stock market gamble.

"For African Americans already suffering from high unemployment, privatizing Social Security would only cause more harm," said Bond.

National Organization for Women President Kim Gandy also spoke at the news conference, noting that dismantling Social Security disproportionately hurts women and children because they are twice as likely to depend on its benefits for their sole income.

"Social Security is not in trouble. George Bush is in trouble," said Gandy. "More than half of elderly women would live in poverty without the benefits of this guaranteed insurance program. This destructive proposal is effectively economic violence against women -- he's risking our livelihoods to satisfy Wall Street donors and corporate cronies."

"Seniors don't believe President Bush's false claim that benefits will not be cut," said George Kourpias, president of the Alliance for Retired Americans, at the news conference. "We will mobilize our forces because retirees, their children and their grandchildren, can't afford the president's gamble."

The White House laid out arguments yesterday against raising taxes to handle the trillion in transition costs the president's plan will entail, leading most experts to conclude that the president plans to add that massive sum to the national debt over the next 10 years. The Bush administration and outside organizations like the Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute and a litany of business groups are raising millions of dollars for their public relations campaign to promote the president's plan to privatize Social Security.

A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released today finds that public opinion remains skeptical about any shifts in the Social Security program. The poll further finds that the public believes it is a bad idea to let workers risk their Social Security taxes in the stock market, by 50 to 38 percent.

NOTE: A Web cast of the Social Security news conference will be made available at http://www.ourfuture.org.

http://releases.usnewswire.com/GetRelease.asp?id=40858

************

Robert Ball, Social Security Warrior, Readies for New Battle

 

Bloomberg.com - December 14

U.S. Dec. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Robert Ball remembers when, as U.S. commissioner of Social Security, he became so alarmed at a political deal involving health-care legislation that he went to the White House to warn President John F. Kennedy.

Click below for full story...

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000103&sid=aOFTqacZIXxc&refer=us

Click below for profile on Robert Ball

http://www.ssa.gov/history/orals/balloralhistory.html

************

America's Seniors Will Fight to Save, Strengthen Social Security; Alliance for Retired Americans Says Privatization Threatens All

12/16/2004

To: National Desk

Contact: Patti Reilly of the Alliance for Retired Americans, 202-974-8271 or 202-330-1913 (cell)

WASHINGTON, Dec. 16 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Despite President Bush's claims that Social Security benefits for current retirees won't be cut as a result of privatization, America's seniors don't believe the president and will mobilize forces nationwide to fight against plans to privatize Social Security, said George J. Kourpias, president of the three million-member Alliance for Retired Americans.

"Privatizing Social Security will destroy America's safest source of guaranteed retirement income," said Kourpias, who spoke at the National Press Club with a number of groups opposing the creation of private retirement accounts. "Younger workers are being scared into believing that Social Security is facing a crisis and privatization is the wonder cure. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

"Seniors don't believe they're immune from benefits cuts and will fight any efforts to undermine the only safe and secure source of retirement income all Americans can and should count on."

The Alliance is a nationwide grassroots organization that advocates on behalf of seniors and figured prominently in the fight against privatizing Medicare.

Kourpias said that the Social Security system is not broke, nor in the dire trouble pro-privatizers and President Bush would have Americans believe. "Let me remind those naysayers who conspired not to save Social Security but to bury it, that Social Security hasn't missed a paycheck in almost 70 years," he said. "With some changes designed to strengthen and secure the program, Social Security is well-positioned to keep delivering monthly checks to millions of Americans for decades to come."

It's the duty of today's seniors to ensure that guaranteed Social Security benefits are available for generations to come, Kourpias said, because only Social Security guarantees a retirement nest egg is there when people need it.

"We're fighting this fight not just for ourselves, but for our children and especially for our grandchildren," he said. "We can't leave a legacy of debt and that's what privatization is designed to do. It will bleed to death the current Social Security system, drive up already record-high deficits and pass on monstrous debt to future generations.

"We believe all Americans should count on Social Security's guaranteed benefits as one means to achieving financial security. Creating private accounts by radically changing the way America provides for its own is simply a betrayal of trust. We are prepared to fight to preserve our financial security."

The Alliance for Retired Americans is a national organization that advocates for the rights and well being of more than three million retirees and their families.

http://releases.usnewswire.com/GetRelease.asp?id=40842

************

Bush social security plan comes under fire

KRON -- December 16, 2004

WASHINGTON The president's plan to let younger workers invest some of their Social Security money into personal savings accounts is coming under sharp attack.

AFL-CIO President John Sweeney calls the proposal "a risky scheme for America, but a sure bet for the financial services industry."

Other opponents of the plan derided it as a "phony promise."

The White House has acknowledged that private accounts will do little to plug what is projected to be a three (t) trillion-dollar Social Security shortfall over 75 years.

In a joint statement, the two top congressional Democrats rejected what's at the heart of of the president's reform proposals.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said they will never back a proposal that incurs large amounts of new debt.

http://www.kron4.com/Global/story.asp?S=2702544&nav=5D7lBwNh

************

CalPERS opposes privatization of Social Security

 

BizJournals - December 16

The board for the nation's largest public pension fund, the California Public Employees' Retirement System, voted Wednesday to officially oppose privatizing the U.S. Social Security System.

Click below for full story...

http://www.bizjournals.com/sacramento/stories/2004/12/13/daily28.html

************

Stock plan won't save Social Security

 

The Buffalo News - December 16

WASHINGTON - An overhaul of Social Security to allow personal investment accounts won't fix the looming financial shortfall by itself, the White House said Wednesday.

Click below for full story...

http://www.buffalonews.com/editorial/20041216/1049317.asp

************

Bush is Selling a Trojan Horse, Says Author of 'The Looting of Social Security'

 

[Press Release] PR Newswire via Yahoo! Finance - December 15

President Bush is trying to sell his privatization proposal as a plan to save Social Security, when it is actually a clever scam designed to destroy the program that conservatives have hated since its enactment in 1935," says economist Allen W.

Click below for full Press Release...

http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/041215/flw012_1.html

************

Bush Says Social Security Accounts to Ease Deficits

 

Bloomberg.com - December 16

U.S. Dec. 16 (Bloomberg) -- President George W. Bush said creating private retirement accounts under Social Security will signal to Wall Street that the U.S. government is confronting long-term budget deficits.

Click below for full story...

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000103&sid=aK84_T4zzugo&refer=us

************

Liberals Launch Campaign Against Social Security Reform

 

Crosswalk.com - December 15

(CNSNews.com) - As President Bush opened a two-day economic summit at the White House Wednesday, liberals countered with criticism of his plans for Social Security reform that include partial privatization of accounts.

Click below for full story...

http://www.crosswalk.com/news/1301633.html



Unite & organize to save Social Security from the profiteers!



Social Security Now!

socialsecuritynow-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

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