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2/07/2005

Republicans Just Can't Tell The Truth About SS

As predicted here some time ago, Conservatives continue to tell us how great privatized Social Security has worked out in Galveston County Texas. Of course they never get around to telling their Kool-Aid-Drinking neocon readers the whole truth about Galveston's plan. Here is an example.

From a CNSNews.com article entitled "Social Security Alternative Already Working in Texas":

"Data from First Financial Benefits, which administers the Galveston Alternate Plan, shows that county workers earning slightly more than $17,000 a year can retire at age 65 with a monthly payment of $1,285 compared with $782 a month under Social Security." OK, that all sounds pretty good, but here comes the lie.

"They have never lost money. They have gone through double recessions in the 1980s, recessions in the 90s, and a tech boom and bust in the 1990s and into 2000," said Charles Jarvis, chairman and CEO of USA Next-United Seniors. "They've gone through another recession, an attack on this country and wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, yet they have steadily provided income for people." Of course this quote leads one to believe that somehow these charmed county employees from Galveston County Texas weathered the storm that battered Wall Street even as the rest of us lost significant money as the market headed south. The reason they didn't lose money is that they don't have any money invested in the stock market! NONE! ZERO! ZIP!

Here is the truth from Galveston County Judge Ray Holbrook in a 1998 article. "The Alternate Plan developed comprised a life insurance element for employees which would protect families of deceased employees, a disability insurance element as good as Social Security, and a retirement element with annuities purchased from major life insurance companies. A calculated decision was made not to invest in the stock market."

Here is another lie straight from Bush's mouth in his State of the Union address last week (lies in the State of the Union are of course nothing new for Bush) and quoted in the same CNSNews.com article linked above. "As we fix Social Security, we also have the responsibility to make the system a better deal for younger workers, and the best way to reach that goal is through voluntary personal retirement accounts." That is a familiar refrain from the Bushies, that they are "fixing" Social Security. The fact is they know they are not. "...this deal still does not solve Social Security's financial problems. 'In a long term sense,' the White House official said at Wednesday's briefing, 'the personal accounts would have a net neutral effect on the fiscal situation of the Social Security and on the federal government.'"

And just for fun I thought I would share this little gem from Sibby Online, "Nobody will find prosperity with the current social security program." Really? Nobody? Nobody has or ever will find prosperity with the current social security program. Now I'm not sure exactly what he means. Does he mean that Social Security contributions are keeping people from finding prosperity? If so somebody needs to tell all the new millionaires that are being minted each year that prosperity in America is simply not possible under this Social Security system. Maybe though he means that those who rely on Social Security for their retirement income will never vacation in Palm Beach. He is correct about that, but that misses the entire point of Social Security. It was never designed to make you rich, it was to keep you from being poor.

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