GWB in Milwaukee on Social Security

Keith Schmitz was in Milwaukee yesterday and notes the following…

George Bush just stopped by in Milwaukee and lied in the faces of the 500 present at the War Memorial and the television audience. My poison of choice was WTMJ 4. After he got done shuckin’ and jivin’ the youth of this city about his bogus Social Security plan, Mike and Carole came on and essentially parroted what Bush said – even emphasizing some of his points (more young people believe in the presence of UFO’s versus the social security (SS) being there when they retire, SS will be flat broke in 2052, ad nauseum).

If you have a few minutes, call the news departments of Channel 4 (414.963.4444) and Channel 12 (414.342.8812) to demand that the evening newscast present a balanced coverage of what Bush said, and not just simply carry out the message of his snake oil sales job.

If you want to throw out a couple of counter points, here are two site that will help…

And this one from AARP is pretty good…

When you call, be polite and firm, but insist on some counter coverage to the statements being made by Bush.

Justin Martin provides the following additional response…

In response to the Social Security discussion – I fear that this is one framing exercise that we lost a long time ago.

Social Security is a tax. A tax we pay to ensure that those in our SOCIETY have a SECURE safety net in retirement and hard times. This doesn’t need to be reframed – it speaks for itself. Unfortunately, many Americans have been hoodwinked into seeing SS as a retirement/investment plan. This is part of a larger plan by Rove & Co. to create a new investor class that will vote Republican for life – just like SS created a population of lifelong Dems and the civil rights turned Southern Democrats into Republicans.

The reason why private investment accounts have no business being a part of Social Security is because that the idea of “personal investment for retirement” goes against the very nature of Social Security. The current workers pay in so that the retired and disabled can receive – and when those workers retire or become disabled, they will receive the benefits entitled to them. It’s not YOUR money and MY money, it’s OUR money. Now, if the government wants to offer additional investment opportunities outside of Social Security, fine. That’s great – we should all invest in ourselves if we have the means. But we must also invest in the security of our society.

So, there’s a potential shortfall in the Social Security trust fund brought about by the looming Baby Boomer retirement? There are many ways we can deal with this. Increase the tax (Not my preferred option). Increase the cap, currently set at $90,000, to a higher level – be it $120K, $150K, $200K. Or even, LOWER the tax rate across the board, while increasing the cap enough to account for the shortfall the tax cut. But remember – all of these changes, tax increases or cap increases, can be temporary. Eventually the baby boomers will die – we will return to the days of paying more into the system than we pay out. In 40 years, this “crisis” will likely go away on its own. However, if we try to “fix” Social Security by allowing it to be reframed from a social program into an investment program, then the only thing going away will be Social Security itself.

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