Social Security as weapon in the mid-terms

Once more into the breach.

I am going to suggest a simply yet powerful theme for the mid-terms: "Social Security is not broke. Not now, not in 2017, not in 2041. Any Republican who tells you it is is a liar or ignorant"

Strong? Yes. Wrong? No neither on substance or tactics. There will be time for numbers latter, first the political background.

In Fall 1983 the Cato Institute declared the War on Social Security. They did not hide this declaration, instead the devoted their entire Fall issue of Cato Journal to it Social Security: Continuing Crisis or Real Reform? Read on to see their published war plan.

The plan is seen in its fullest extent in Butler and Germanis Achieving a "Leninist" Strategy

It is breathtaking. Every bit of strategy, every tactic, every soundbite used to attack Social Security is laid out. You could duplicate any speech Bush ever gave on Social Security by cutting and pasting from this paper. If I get even two people to read this article, this diary will be a success.

The strategy is two-fold. First convince retirees and those approaching retirement that their benefits would not be cut. Two convince young workers that Social Security would simply not be there for them. (This sounds oddly familiar).

The strategy, the tactics, the rhetoric worked brilliantly. If you are typical you have been the victim of a ideologically driven campaign of misinformation. Before you react ask yourself two questions.

One would the Right lie to you for decades on something this important? (That one answers itself)

Two have you personally examined the numbers behind the projections that produce 2017 or 2041? And I don't mean having read it over and over in multiple MSM outlets. After all at this point you can't trust them on the simple point that Abramoff is a Republican. People all across the Left blogosphere lash major media on a daily basis. The question remains: do you have knowledge about Social Security independent of what the MSM has been telling you? If so where did you get it?

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Now for those numbers
The easiest place to get access to all Reports from 1942 to 2004 is this page on my blog. No commentary, nada, nothing but links to the HTML versions of the Reports from 1995 to 2004 and PDFs from 1942 to 1994. 2004 Report

You can view, download or order the 2005 and previous Reports from the Office of the Actuary http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/pubs.htm . The paper copy is  free and is mailed first class. But I have gone ahead and broken it out, along with some commentary on this page Bruceweb: 2005 Trustees' Report

I'll be glad to mix it up with anyone on this topic. But if you are going to dispute my central point: Social Security is not Broke, then you need to bring some first hand numbers.

by Bruce Webb 2006-01-21 10:08AM | 0 recs
Social Security is the ONLY WAY to spread the risk
As I said in my other post (below) if we don;t have a guarantee.. people will need much higher salaries now..

to make up for the dissapearing pensions..

Unless current yields on investments rise hugely, and I just don't see that happening....

Read my post below..

by ultraworld 2006-01-22 07:29AM | 0 recs
by maximus7 2006-01-21 01:49PM | 0 recs
Just imagine
How much safer social security would be, too, if democrats were running the economy.  Compare their "good economy" (now) to ours (Clinton or JFK/LBJ).  Then "unfix" some of the changes they made to the stats in figuring "unemployment", etc.

In 2004 Bush briefly let the cat out of the bag and Kerry attacked.  We were told not to worry.  Folks, when the Republicans say "not to worry" it is time to be very worried.

Yes, let the REAL grownups run things, the Democrats.

by David Kowalski 2006-01-22 06:59AM | 0 recs
There are huge social forces beyond the control
of either party..

One big one is technology, which is replacing whole categories of unskilled jobs piece by piece..

In 20 years, you wont be able to find work at any salary unless you have world-class skills or work in some 'technology-proof' field like politics or prostitution.. (And the competition to get into those areas will be fierce, so wages will fall)

by ultraworld 2006-01-22 07:32AM | 0 recs
Yeah well hugs parts of my job
Involve translating that tech to co-workers and customers, and just between you and me Ultraworld stupid people are not going away.

I am just suggesting measuring current year projected numbers against just in numbers and then deciding if this is the year we need to make a change. The Right is suggesting we need to move NOW in ways that disadvantage workers. I just say lets take it a year at a time.

by Bruce Webb 2006-01-23 05:20PM | 0 recs
People need to negotiate much higher salaries
to make up for the dissapearing pension..

Otherwise, we will all be eating out of garbage cans in a few years.. Or we might end up in Soylent Green..

Just kidding, but do the math.. People won't be able to survive on 401ks with current yields.. People need much more pay in order to save enough.. even if they cut their expenses to the bone.. (many are already doing that)

People need to either do that or stop buying everything nonessential.. which would kill the economy.

Another scary thought.. If everyone is selling their stocks at the same time.. yields will be even lower than they are now.. (lots of supply and little demand means low profits)

The US was the only nation left undestroyed by WWII and that has left an entire generation with an unrealistically optimistic view of what America is and what they can afford on what they make (which is in real terms, less and less)

Right now, borrowing against home equity is masking that somewhat.. but it can't last..

by ultraworld 2006-01-22 07:26AM | 0 recs

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