- js reader version
- view hidden posts
- tags and related articles
by Dan Margolis/People\\'s Weekly World
Saturday, May. 07, 2005 at 3:58 AM
WASHINGTON — Defenders of Social Security charged this week that a “means test” on Social Security as proposed by President George W. Bush would inflict huge benefit cuts for 70 percent of recipients, clearing the way to destroy the system vital to Americans’ economic security.
Bush unveiled his proposal for “progressive indexing” of Social Security benefits at an April 29 White House news conference. His plan would divide workers into income categories. Only those at the very bottom would receive current benefit levels. For, everyone else benefits would be cut by changing the way those benefits are calculated. This “means-testing,” pitting worker against worker, was anathema to the New Deal founders of Social Security, who fashioned a universal system in which benefits were pegged to how much a worker paid into the system. Bush also stubbornly defended private retirement accounts despite their rejection by a strong majority of the people.
“The president continues to ignore the growing opposition to privatization. Now he wants to weaken Social Security even further with an extreme means test on benefits,” said former Congresswoman Barbara Kennelly, president of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare. “There is no longer any doubt that the administration’s approach would dismantle Social Security.”
Under Bush’s proposal, she charged, “three out of four workers under age 55 would lose between 20 and 50 percent of their Social Security benefit even if they didn’t opt for the private account.”
Those who invest in private accounts, she added, will lose an additional dollar of Social Security benefits for every dollar they invest in the accounts. “They would see this reduction in benefits regardless of how their accounts performed,” Kennelly warned. “Thus for many workers, the guaranteed benefit would disappear completely over time.”
AFL-CIO President John Sweeney said Bush’s indexing scheme “would cut guaranteed benefits enormously, gigantically increase the federal budget deficit and force retirees to rely on risky private accounts for their retirement income.”
Alan Charney of USAction, which is spearheading a nationwide grassroots drive to defend Social Security, told the World, “Bush calls it ‘progressive indexing.’ We call it ‘regressive benefit cuts.’”
USAction together with its allies, he said, has organized “stop privatization” rallies in 35 states. While Bush’s 60-day roadshow for privatization was a flop, the “Save Social Security” rallies are helping turn the tide against the Bush plan, he said.
A bloc of moderate Republican senators and representatives in states like Maine, Rhode Island, and Pennsylvania “need to hear from voters” demanding that they vote “no” on Bush’s plan, Charney said.
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) released an analysis of Bush’s proposal, warning that the combination of private accounts and benefit indexing “could ultimately lead to the unraveling of Social Security.”
David Kamin, a CBPP researcher who helped prepare the analysis, told the World that the Bush plan, based on a scheme drawn up by investment banker Robert Pozen, is set up “to make the Social Security system look bad.”
Bush would turn Social Security into a welfare program for the working poor, those now earning below ,000 a year, he said. “They would cut the guaranteed benefits so low that it will look worthless,” Kamin said. “People then would be open to eliminating the system completely.”
The report reveals that a worker earning ,000 today who retires in 2055 would face a 21 percent reduction in his or her Social Security benefits under Bush’s indexing scam. If that worker also opted for Bush’s private accounts, his or her defined Social Security benefit would be slashed by 66 percent from ,844 a month in today’s dollars to 6 a month. A worker who earns ,000 a year and opts for private retirement accounts would suffer an 87 percent cut in guaranteed Social Security benefits. “Instead of a monthly benefit of ,441 in today’s dollars, their benefit would be 1,” the report charges.
CBPP released a fact sheet on Bush’s attempt to “mislead,” a polite word for lying. For example, Bush told the news conference, “The money from a voluntary personal account would supplement the check one receives from Social Security.” In fact, Social Security’s guaranteed benefits would be reduced dollar for dollar for all funds invested in private accounts. Similarly, Bush claimed the private accounts could be bequeathed to family heirs in the event of early death. “But that is not how the president’s proposal works,” the report charged. Under his proposal, the surviving spouse would inherit, along with the deceased spouse’s private account, the cuts in Social Security survivor benefits to pay for having diverted money into a private account. Many surviving spouses “would lose money,” the report said.
Bush said that people nervous about the stock market can invest in Treasury bonds “backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government.” CBPP pointed out that when belittling the Social Security trust fund Bush called them “file cabinets full of IOUs.” In fact these IOUs are the same Treasury bonds that Bush advises workers to buy as a “rock solid investment option” in their private accounts.
Report this post as:
GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE
lausd whistle blower
Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images
UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light
Change Links April 2018
Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018
Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018!
Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018!
Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert!
Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A.
Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released
Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups
After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video
Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights
What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It
Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down
Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29
Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf
Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development
Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine
Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents
Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters
City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre
Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling
Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present
Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police
LA Times Homicide Report
More Local News...
Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée
The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion
Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service
The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally!
The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder
Paraphysique de la dictature étatique
Book Review: "The New Bonapartists"
The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia
Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine
The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally!
“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize!
The World Dependent on Central Banks
Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine
March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update
Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel
ICE contract with license plate reader company
Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes
Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges
Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes
Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety
Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man
Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes
Paraphysique de l'autorité
Two Podcasts on fbi corruption
Fbi assassins assault & try to kill DAVID ATKINS
EPA Head Scott Pruitt: Of Cages And Sirens
More Breaking News...