Thursday, February 03, 2005

Reid: End the 'Birth Tax'

Senator Harry Reid, the Senate Minority Leader, responded the President Bush's plan to drain funds from the Social Security Program to establish private investment plans by pointing out:
"Too many of the President's economic policies have left Americans and American companies struggling. And after we worked so hard to eliminate the deficit, his policies have added trillions to the debt - in effect, a 'birth tax' of $36,000 on every child that is born."
For years now, Americans have been hearing the Republicans decry the so-called "death tax" of Estate Taxes. That tax is designed to prevent the development of a plutocracy in America-a nation led by a wealthy class that continues generation after generation.

Senator Reid knows that as I learned years ago, "there is no such thing as a free lunch". The cost to adding private social security accounts will be trillions in additional Federal debt because removing these funds from the Social Security budget only exacerbates an already strained system. As reported:
The costs of the proposal would be substantial. Presumably all of it would be borrowed, vastly increasing a swollen budget deficit.

A senior administration official put the cost from 2009 through 2015 at $754 billion - $664 billion to pay benefits and $90 billion for interest on the money borrowed. Peter R. Orszag, a Social Security expert who served in the Clinton administration, calculated that the program would cost the government over $1 trillion in the first 10 years the accounts were in place would be over $1 trillion and more than $3.5 trillion in the second 10 years.

In the long run, the administration official said, the program would save the government money, but he was unwilling to say how long that would take
The costs of the proposal would be substantial. Presumably all of it would be borrowed, vastly increasing a swollen budget deficit.

Let us protect Social Security and not destroy it. Let us not establish a new "birth tax" upon the youngest members of our society. And above all, let us remember the purpose of Social Security and the words of Franklin Delano Roosevelt who, upon signing the law establishing Social Security had this to say:
Today a hope of many years' standing is in large part fulfilled. The civilization of the past hundred years, with its startling industrial changes, has tended more and more to make life insecure. Young people have come to wonder what would be their lot when they came to old age. The man with a job has wondered how long the job would last.

This social security measure gives at least some protection to thirty millions of our citizens who will reap direct benefits through unemployment compensation, through old-age pensions and through increased services for the protection of children and the prevention of ill health.

We can never insure one hundred percent of the population against one hundred percent of the hazards and vicissitudes of life, but we have tried to frame a law which will give some measure of protection to the average citizen and to his family against the loss of a job and against poverty-ridden old age.

This law, too, represents a cornerstone in a structure which is being built but is by no means complete. It is a structure intended to lessen the force of possible future depressions. It will act as a protection to future Administrations against the necessity of going deeply into debt to furnish relief to the needy. The law will flatten out the peaks and valleys of deflation and of inflation. It is, in short, a law that will take care of human needs and at the same time provide the United States an economic structure of vastly greater soundness.

Senator Kerry, you have a job to do! We have a President who wishes to undo the best of what America has to offer. A President who hates anything the government could do to help the average citizen. Hurry up Senator Kerry, America is waiting!



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