Democrats Will "Compromise" With Bush On Social Security Cuts

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Itsthetruth, Feb 5, 2005.

  1. Itsthetruth
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    Itsthetruth Guest

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    If we let them, they will compromise. Most Democrat and some nervous Republican members of Congress may stop Bush's privatization scheme from becoming law. However, they very well might agree to alternative legislation that will in fact undermine and reduce the social security benefits for elderly Americans. And they will call such a compromise a victory! After all, they did stop privitization.

    The Bush government has a "back-up" plan in reserve in the event his so-called "private investment accounts" plan falters. Plan "B" has not been widely publicized and few Democratic politicians have commented on its proposals.

    Yesterday George Bush said: "I'm willing to work with anybody, Republican or Democrat or independent, who wants to come in and discuss ways to solve the problem. Everything is on the table except raising payroll taxes."

    So what are the other proposals that Bush is willing to work with Democrats on to "solve" this bogus problem?

    In his State of the Union speech Bush said: "Fixing Social Security permanently will require an open, candid review of the options. Former Congressman Tim Penny has raised the possibility of indexing benefits to prices rather than wages. During the 1990s, my predecessor, President Clinton, spoke of increasing the retirement age. Former Senator John Breaux suggested discouraging early collection of Social Security benefits. The late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan recommended changing the way benefits are calculated. All these ideas are on the table."

    So there you have it.

    Cut benefit increases.

    Raise the retirement age.

    Penalize those who retire "early".

    Reduce benefits.

    It would be good if Democratic Party leaders, beginning with Howard Dean, spoke out loudly and clearly against ALL of these proposals to undermine social security.

    Will they? That depends upon what we do. If a huge mass movement of millions is organized to defend our social security we can beat back this attack. It must be big, it must be highly visible, it must be persistent and it must take it to the streets. Simple letters and e-mails won't accomplish much at all.

    A March on Washington would be a good start. The labor movement could help lead and organize it if the Democratic Party won't.

    Does anyone have other suggestions on how we could build such a mass movement and what kinds of activities it would engage in to educate and mobilize the public?


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    Labor Advocate Online
    February 4, 2005

    Fixing Social Security
    by Bill Onasch

    Bush’s Social Security scam–the boldest attack yet on one of the few social benefits ever won by American workers–would eventually redistribute trillions of dollars from wannabe "owners" still working for bosses to the real owners of society–those employing the wannabe owners.

    But bold also implies risk. There is always the chance that, deviating from recent behavior norms, the labor movement might help launch a massive defense of our most sacred benefit. There is even a chance that such a struggle could defeat this attempted grand larceny. That kind of stuff could quickly get out of hand.

    Fear of such a backlash is why the bosses and bankers never put all their fragile proverbial eggs in a single vulnerable basket. After all they invented the good cop/bad cop routine. They are ready to "compromise" if need be. Some of us remember the last big compromise on Social Security in the early Eighties.

    Because of the inflationary recession left over from the Carter administration, greatly exacerbated by Reagan’s supply side economics, Social Security was in real danger then. Reagan proposed drastic cuts that ran into heated opposition.

    But then Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan sat down with Democrat Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill and these two "adversaries" hammered out a "compromise." This 1983 "reform" not only hiked payroll taxes and corralled millions of public sector workers previously outside the Social Security pool; it also raised normal retirement age and set future increases in penalties for "early" retirement–such as I receive. All this was given a relieved blessing by the leadership of the labor movement at the time.

    Already we are hearing talk of another bi-partisan compromise to "fix" Social Security. Certainly any such deal would include pushing retirement age back even further and would probably involve downsizing the formula used to calculate benefits. Now that’s a real threat to younger workers–unlike my Wal-Mart sized monthly stipend.

    If union leaders and the AARP show an inclination to accept such further gradual erosion of Social Security the bosses may well be willing to take privatization off the table and leave Bush twisting in the wind–just as Reagan had to take one for the gipper in 1983. Some of our leaders may well proclaim such a give-back a "victory"–they are, after all, well experienced with such spin–but rather than "fix" Social Security it would just put future retirees in an unpleasant fix.

    Instead of trying to force march workers to toil until the age of seventy–which many are suggesting–our increased productivity should entitle workers who want to retire to go earlier. Some European countries, who have even longer life spans than we, have set age sixty as a normal retirement age.

    The timing of Bush’s proposal has nothing to do with any "crisis" in Social Security. By all estimates the present set-up can provide current benefit levels for decades. But Bush, and the class he represents, is on a roll right now. They’ve got us scared of our own shadows looking for terrorists. They’ve framed all discussion around the premise we are poorer and must make sacrifices. They’ve encountered no significant political opposition. Until they get some shove in response they are going to keep pushing, rolling back everything we have won in the past.

    This fight is of historic importance not just because of Social Security–as vital as that benefit is–but because all of our benefits, our very living standards, are in mortal danger. Counting on the Democrat politicians to save us is to surrender before the end of the first round. The best we can hope for from them is another give-back "compromise."

    If the labor movement is to survive as a real force it will have to stop apologizing for what we have, stop give-backs, stop spinning grave setbacks into proud victories.

    We need to honestly take our case to the workplaces and communities, telling the truth about Social Security and those attacking it–both the privateers and the "fixers."

    Following the example of the civil rights and Vietnam antiwar movements organized labor should call a March On Washington, and bring hundreds of thousands to the capital to demand "Hands Off Social Security!"

    http://www.kclabor.org/fixing_social_security.htm
     
  2. MtnBiker
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    Isthetruth are you investing any money for your retirment beyond taxes paid into social security? If so why?
     
  3. Mr. P
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    Mr. P Senior Member

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    Nice to see another wacko liberal socialist join the board..don't ya think, folks? :)
     
  4. Itsthetruth
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    No. Like tens of millions of ordinary working people I've gotten by paycheck to paycheck.

    Fortunately I have a union pension plan with defined benefits which will help out a lot and that will supplement social security. Most working people aren't that fortunate and most company pension plans are going up in smoke.

    At least we have social security to rely on. It's solvent. It's not broke. It doesn't need to be "fixed".

    If you're making enough money whereby you can invest at least a few thousand a year in conservative government securities or can risk investing that money in the stock market more power to you! Lot's of people just can't do that.
     
  5. MtnBiker
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    I'm not trying to be personal, just curious. Does that pention plan only invest in the company you work for?

    And I would think that a union job that requires dues would help provide a better income than keeping a person living paycheck to paycheck.
     
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    If that is true why did Bill Clinton say just the opposite in 1998?
     
  7. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    :wtf:
    and if they could put a piece of their now 'confiscated' SSI into investments so they might make a decent return the downside would be? :wtf:
     
  8. no1tovote4
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    This is foolishness and a promotion of more of it. Paycheck to paycheck types of jobs simply don't have Union Reps at all. If you are living paycheck to paycheck on that amount of money you are foolishly spending in on unnecessary items.

    One of the biggest heroes of my life is a Hispanic Girl we will call "D", I met her at work when I made about 11 an hour, and so did she. Amazingly she owned a house, cared for a younger sister and her son from divorce (deadbeat dad) all with that amount of money and did all that without killing herself with debt. When I saw what she was doing with the same amount of money I made it shamed me into reevaluating my own lifestyle and made me realize it was the choices that I made that brought me to where I was at, not the amount of money that I was making.

    From her example, and because of my own shame, I was able to turn around a life of living "Paycheck to Paycheck" make better financial choices and save money. Relying on others for your retirement makes no sense, too often Union Retirement funds go broke because of bad management, SS doesn't give you enough to live except bare existence lifestyle and investing in only the Stock Market can be a problem too. Find opportunities for yourself and do not rely on others and you will find you enjoy life better. Diversify.

    This was the way the US was before SS, it incentivized saving and good financial decisions as well as continued the extended family allowing our youngest to receive some of the wisdom earned by our eldest that is denied them today as families let others make money from taking care of them while visits become less frequent.


    Anyway, you are the best provider for a good future for yourself and family, the Government never will be. Relying on the Government to make your life better will lead only to a life filled with disappointment, not with success.
     
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