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Bush's Social Security propaganda

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Posted: Friday, March 18, 2005 10:00 pm

Here we go again!

The Bush administration is using the politics of fear and propaganda to scare us into believing that Social Security is bankrupt.

The administration's "remedy" is to privatize Social Security, allowing Wall Street to take advantage of huge profits. (See "Market Watch" by Paul B. Farrell: "Wall Street is salivating as Washington begins to talk about overhauling social security. Trillions of dollars in new private accounts would mean millions in new fees for the street.")

Fear and propaganda were used to convince us to invade Iraq. Remember the threats of a "mushroom cloud," "WMD," the alleged 9/11 Saddam Hussein connection, crowds of grateful Iraqis?

That senseless war costs us dearly in American lives and treasure. The administration's credibility score: zero.

The administration's propaganda campaigns are quite successful. It duped us into supporting that ill-conceived war. It later said the prescription drug program would cost $400 billion, then $523, and now $724 billion. (But Bush has a plan to pay for the increased costs: enact high co-pays for users. Translation: a new tax on Medicare users so that the tax cuts for the wealthy can be extended and become permanent. Remember no new taxes? Apparently, that only applies to the wealthy.)

On Feb. 22, it was reported that "the Bush administration has been accused of paying large sums of money to three conservative commentators to promote its programs in print and on radio and TV."

Before we accept this latest smoke-and-mirrors campaign and endorse Social Security privatization (which even the Bush administration says will cost trillions), let's examine the historical record of the market -- the 1929 crash, and other periods in which the stock market played fast and loose with investor dollars.

Corporations, unlike the U.S. government, do go bankrupt. Enron stockholders, for example, lost millions while workers and retirees were told to continue to buy Enron stock while managers sold theirs off before Enron imploded.

The administrative cost of the present program is 1 percent. Privatization will increase costs by at least 30 percent. Nothing prevents today's workers from risking their own money in the market, in addition to contributing to Social Security. Social security when then continue to be the safety net it was intended to be.

Cynthia Neely




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