Sunday, May 08, 2005

Simple Lies About Social Security

Letter I sent to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat:

The PD’s May 6 Op/Ed page featured a letter from Bill R. Smith of Ukiah and a column by Charles Krauthammer that both featured what is already a tired lie about President Bush’s plan to “save” Social Security: that it doesn’t cut benefits.

Here’s a simple fact: benefits to future retirees under President Bush’s plan will be less than benefits to future retirees under a continuation of the current plan. Republicans can call things whatever they want to (and they do; witness the “clear skies initiative”), but that’s a cut in benefits.

Krauthammer goes on in his column to state that the social security “trust fund” is a hoax, stating there is no box in West Virginia holding wads of cash to pay for future social security benefits. Oh my gosh, there’s not? Next he’ll be telling me my credit union doesn’t have separate little boxes containing cash for the money I have in my checking and savings accounts. Actually, he won’t be telling me that, because that would reveal how stupid his argument is. The social security trust fund consists of T-Bills, backed by the full faith and credit of the United States Government. Yes, to pay off those T-bills money will have to be borrowed, redirected from other government programs, or the revenue raised by new or raised taxes, but that is so of all bonds issued by our government. Why is Krauthammer not equally concerned about the trillions of dollars in T-bills held by the Chinese and Japanese central banks that have resulted from the record deficits run up by the Bush Administration. Those too will have to be paid off by the same financial mechanisms.

Krauthammer’s column is rife with this kind of disingenuous drivel (to be honest, his entire body of work is), but I haven’t the time and you won’t give me the space to address each of his points. In the long run, and by that I mean within the next thirty or forty years, something will have to be done to address Social Security’s funding. President Bush, the Congressional Republican leadership, and their supporters in the press have all demonstrated that they are not serious about addressing this in a manner that will be beneficial to the American people. Better to wait until well-meaning people are in control, rather than act now and destroy what has been among the most successful programs in our government’s history.
Weblog Commenting and Trackback by