Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Bush Visits Galveston to Sell Social Security Privatization

Photo of President Bush traveling with his dog Barney to Galveston
As reported by the New York Times, Bush chose the trip to Galveston:
"...because of county employees' decision 25 years ago to opt out of Social Security in favor of private retirement accounts. Two neighboring counties later adopted the same approach."
Bush stated:
''What's important here is the philosophy behind what Galveston County is doing,'' Bush said. ''You can own your own asset and watch it grow .... but also you get a better rate of return and you trust people.''
Trust? Own your "own asset"? In reality, the Galveston program, like any of the privatization programs advocated by the Republicans, is better for the wealthy and worse for the poor. In other words, those that need this protection the most will be losing the greatest benefit in the word of "reform." The only people that will not worry about "trust" will be the wealthy. Sound familiar?

As the Washington Post pointed out:
The Texas plan has proved to be a boon to most middle- and upper-income workers, who enjoy more flexibility and greater benefits than they would have under Social Security. But independent studies have concluded that low-income workers often do worse than they would have under Social Security.

In fact, a 1999 study of the Galveston Plan by the Social Security Administration showed that individuals and family of the highest income groups did fairly well with privatization, but the benefit deteriorated with time and was the worst with those of the least means. I have cut and pasted in a graph from the Galveston study that illustrates this problem clearly.

America needs a compassionate leader who cares about those with the least in their bank accounts and who doesn't sacrifice benefits for the needy to bolster the wallets of the rich. The problem is trust. We need a leader in America who restores our trust for government. Not betrays it.



Post a Comment

<< Home