Sunday, February 06, 2005

Cheney: Personal Social Security Accounts to Cost Government Trillions

In an interview today on Fox News Sunday, Vice President Dick Cheney stated that the United States goveernment will need to borrow $754 billion just in the next ten years to fund the Social Security personal accounts proposed by President Bush.

But that is just the beginning.

Cheney continued:
``We think that's a manageable amount,'' the vice president said. He said the government will have to borrow ``trillions more after that'' as the percentage of Social Security payroll taxes that workers can set aside for the personal accounts is increased.


But that shouldn't be a problem according to Cheney. For as he pointed out:

``It is important to manage the fiscal impact of these transitions in an intelligent fashion, and we're well aware of that,'' he said. ``That's one of the reasons you do phase it in.''

But this is a fiscally conservative government, isn't it? So there is only one thing to do about the deficit. Take it out of the poor, the disabled, and the disadvantaged. That is what is meant by 'Compassionate Conservative.'

As reported in the 2000 election about then Governor Bush:
His goal was to help people. He believed the best way to do that was to develop government programs and policies that allowed them to help themselves. He did not see the government as the enemy, as the traditional conservatives did. Often, adjusting existing programs could achieve results while saving taxpayers money. Reducing taxes, in turn, was yet another way to help people.

Hmmm "adjusting programs". Maybe like destroying Social Security and putting our nation into further debt by the trillions?

And what about "fiscally conservative" Dick Cheney? What happened to the man who as has been reported was a sponsor of multiple "balanced budget laws"?:

Cheney co-sponsored the following bills in Congress:
H.J.RES.147 (1984):A joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution to require that congressional resolutions setting forth levels of total budget outlays and Federal revenues must be agreed to by two-thirds vote of both Houses of the Congress if the level of outlays exceeds the level of revenues.
H.R.5000 (1984) and H.R.1481 (1986):A bill to authorize the President, on a limited basis, to impound funds made available for the fiscal year when economic conditions necessitate reductions in the Federal deficit.
H.R.3520 (1986):A bill to require a graduated reduction of the Federal budget deficit, to balance the budget, to establish emergency procedures to avoid deficit overages.
H.J.RES.321 (1988):A joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution to provide for a balanced budget for the United States Government and for greater accountability in the enactment of tax legislation.
Source: Thomas Register of Congressional Votes Jan 1, 1986

Could this be another "Cheney Flip-Flop"? As Cheney accused Senator Kerry at the Republican Convention, doesn't this apply to the Vice President rather clearly?:

"His back-and-forth reflects a habit of indecision, and sends a message of confusion," he said in one of his harshest critiques yet of the Massachusetts senator. Delegates responded with chants of "flip flop, flip flop" and some waved flip-flop sandals.

And do we really need to go into TRILLIONS of additional debt to save Social Security?

In 2001, this President commissioned a Social Security Taskforce which was hand-picked to deliver his desired result. Buried on page 27 of this 39 page document are comments which are rather telling:
"In 2001, earnings in employment covered by Social Security that exceed $80,400 are neither subject to payroll tax nor considered for calculating benefits. This "contribution and benefit base" increases automatically each year with increases in the average wage. Currently, about 84 percent of all covered earnings are below the base, but this percentage has been falling from about 90 percent in 1983 and is projected to continue to fall to about 83 percent in 2010.

Making all earnings covered by Social Security subject to the payroll tax beginning in 2002, but retaining the current law limit for benefit computations (in effect removing the link between earnings and benefits at higher earnings levels), would eliminate the deficit. If benefits were to be paid on the additional earnings, 88 percent of the deficit would be eliminated."

But what is the problem with THAT? I mean, even if we had to CREDIT these higher earners with a higher social security payment, that would cover just about 90% of the problem! Isn't that better than putting the Federal Debt further into the red by TRILLIONS of dollars?

But the problem is explained:
"These changes would cause higher-paid workers and their employers to pay higher taxes. They would mean that higher-paid workers (those above the current taxable maximum) would receive a lower average rate of return on their Social Security taxes than they do today."

So in other words, to avoid 'higher-income' earners from suffering with a lower return on their Social Security dollars, it is worth it for the government to put the nation TRILLIONS of dollars further into the hole.

Thank you very much. But no thank you.

I am so tired of the alarmist Presidency that might just as well raise the "fiscal alert" to orange on the basis of a shortfall in the year 2038. This is a problem that could easily be handled just by an adjustment of the top limit of income subject to Social Security Taxes.....without even raising the tax rate!

But this isn't about Social Security. Don't you see? This is about stripping a social program, the pride of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal, from the Government. It is about shrinking government. This is a President who is inspired by Grover Norquist, the 'brilliant' strategist for the Republicans who said:
“I don’t want to abolish government,” Norquist said. “I just want to get it down to the size where I can drown it in a bathtub.”

Hey John Kerry, we got something else in the water. We got Social Security drowning under the love of this compassionate conservative President and his flip-flopping Vice President. Pull America and this Government out of the water! They are trying to drown us!



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