Social Security Is Under Attack From The Right, Again


The Republicans have set their sights on another American institute that they wish to give over to their masters on Wall Street. Even Clinton has decided to please his masters both on Wall Street and within the moderate faction of the Republican Party (saying that the Republican Party even has a moderate faction is like saying that Nazi Storm Troopers had a few individuals who were nice to their mothers).

The program I'm speaking of is Social Security. Without the slightest acknowledgment that nearly every other effort at privatization has failed miserably, the clowns now intend to put even more of your future in jeopardy by forcing Americans to hand over their hard earned money to the greedy crowd of investors who own the stock market. This idea truly doesn't even fit the Right's definition of privatization, though, since all available money must be stolen by Corporate America to make their dreams come true. Of course, any time that a thief comes to rob your house, they must first get their toe inside the door. This is, in my belief, exactly the idea. Once you get used to having a little of your future donated to Wall Street, you won't feel as much pain as everything that remains is handed over. When you arrive at retirement age and find nothing whatsoever left to pay you, then you can be certain that both the Right and their gods on Wall Street will find some way to convince you that, somehow, its all the fault of Liberals and Democrats and Communists and illegal aliens and Mexicans and single mothers and drug abusers and weak judges assigned by some liberal somewhere and on and on and on. Naturally, since the fact that the vast majority of Americans have less than a minuscule amount of either common sense or short term memory has become the rule rather than the exception, the average American will happily blame anyone else rather than admit that they were idiots to have allowed the Republicans within a million miles of their retirement funds in the first place.

Granted, the system is currently in danger of a short fall in funds in about two to three decades. The primary problem is amazingly easy to fix, of course, and that is to simply remove the Social Security funds from the budget and return it to the stand alone system it was designed to be. Why was it ever included in the federal budget? Because it was the only way that Reagan and his little band of thieves could find to hide the hundreds of billions of dollars in debts that they were forcing on an unsuspecting and poorly informed public. By including the Social Security funds, they were not only able to pretend that those assets were a part of the budget but also allowed them to "borrow" from the funds to pay for the insane arms build up and the long ago lost war on Americans who use the wrong drugs.

So, the first thing America must demand is that the program become independent of the delirium that is our Congress these past two decades. That also means that they must admit that the there is less than a zero chance to actually pass a "balanced budget" because the debt will, overnight, climb by at least TWO TRILLION DOLLARS!

Once the system is away from Congressional manipulations, then we have three choices to make, any of which will cure nearly every ill in the system. First, though, we must agree that we cannot, in all decency, raise the age of retirement any further. That is beyond unfair as it is.

First, we should simply create a means test for those who wish to receive the program's funds upon retirement. Should a barrier be set at, perhaps, one hundred thousand dollars of income for a single person or two hundred thousand for a couple, then only those whose livelihoods would not suffer would be excluded, saving hundreds of millions of dollars.

We could as easily raise the actual tax that employers and employees pay from the current 7.2% to around 8.3%. That is only $1.10 per hundred dollars in income for the employee, a figure that could hardly be termed a "hardship", although that hasn't prevented the Right from raising that exact alarm.

Finally, simply by removing the maximum amount of income that can be taxed for the Social Security fund, the entire program is then magically funded far into the next century with no other changes being necessary.

Now, I understand that either the first or third suggestion will receive a very cold reception from the folks who currently own our government. The wealthy have no intention of paying their fair share nor do they wish to do without what would be less than 1% of their retirement income. Therefore, these two become the most beneficial plans for the other 99% of Americans in that, for far too many, the checks that they receive from Social Security is their only income.

As an aside, the Dec. 7, 1998 issue of the LA Times had, on its editorial page, a column by a member of the Cato Institute. This think tank follows the Libertarian political agenda and, for some strange reason, actually believes that Corporate America is more trustworthy than our government. (I believe that our government is wasteful and inept in many areas but I believe that Corporate America is simply so greedy and short sighted that it is a far, far distant second in any contest for the trust of the American people.) In fact, the article doesn't find it necessary to reveal that the Cato Institute has received over $2 million in donations from the same Wall Street firms who would reap billions of dollars every decade raking in fees from the ill educated Americans given over to their grasping claws.

Fixing Social Security isn't rocket science, gentle readers. All it takes, and this is a huge "all it takes", is that we take back our government from those who so adore and worship money and so detest the American middle- and lower class citizens. How would we do that? I'm afraid that it will take a bit of effort on everyone's part, folks. You will have to write to your representatives constantly, you will have to actually learn the voting records of those asking for your assistance in gaining public office (there are many sites on the Internet where the voting records of every holder of federal office can be found as well as sites for most states), you will have to personally ask those running for the first time exactly what their platform is (or ask me to do it for you and I will try) but you will then have to watch their actions to ensure that it equals their promises. Folks, you are going to have to work very hard to gain the government that America deserves. You and I can't afford to buy it like the wealthy and Corporate America so easily can. No, we must demand that money be completely and forever removed from the political process with long, long prison terms as the punishment for accepting any money or favor from anyone at any time while in office. We must demand that every candidate asking for our vote promise that they will make complete campaign finance reform the first and primary act upon elections. And, finally, we must loudly and often remind them of those promises until we have a nation that can hold its head up among all nations with the claim that we have finally, after over two hundred years, achieved a true democracy and that we have fulfilled the promise of protecting our most defenseless citizens.

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Impeach The Moron
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Write me at:jcannon@anotherperspective.org

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Copyright 12/18/98