The Ark

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There was an interesting article in Salon today. --> HERE
but it's kind of long so for your convenience I'm going to summarize/paraphrase...for those who care.
Let's cut Social Security to pay for banker bailouts! by Michael Lind
You are about to be hit by another wave of disinformation about how Social Security is going broke and needs reforming (meaning, your benefits must be cut). It's not true.

Trustees who oversee Social Security and Medicare issued their annual report today and as the writer of the article predicted, Conservatives, libertarians and center-right Democrats have begun exploiting it to allege that the sky is falling, as instructed by their manifesto, "Achieving a 'Leninist' Strategy."

Libertarian zealots, Jeffersonian conservatives, center-right Democrats and bankers and brokers want us to believe it so they can profit from the diverson of SS payroll taxes into IRAs - they've been trying for 25 years.

You'll hear:

The date at which Social Security will become bankrupt has advanced!
Estimates vary too much to be able to accurately predict. Don't listen- it's all fear-mongering to a gullible public.

We have only two choices, or a combination -- cutting benefits or raising the payroll tax.
False. There are at least two other choices that the deficit hawks never mention: more rapid economic growth, and an infusion of money from other revenues, to supplement the payroll tax.

Social Security and other entitlements are responsible for unfunded liabilities of more than $100 trillion -- and as the baby boomers begin to retire, the bill is coming due!
Total nonsense. The gap is made to sound scarier than it is using a disingenuous formula.

Who is behind this disinformation campaign? Some well-known billionaires, Republican conservatives, libertarians and "fiscally conservative" Blue Dog Democrats.

Their manifesto-->"Achieving a 'Leninist' Strategy." <--(pdf doc)

Small-government conservatives, they argued, should learn from Lenin, who sought to shape history rather than wait patiently for the inevitable evolution of socialism.

These opponents of SS would disguise their revolutionary goal by pretending to be interested only in modest, piecemeal reforms. When the legislative pieces are in place, and the concerns of the elderly are neutralized through propaganda, and the public trust in SS is eroded, they will then call for converting it into a means-tested welfare program, or rejiggering benefits formulas so that inflation will render Social Security negligible as part of the retirement income of most Americans. And all the while these radicals of the right will disguise their true radicalism, pretending to be centrist "fiscal conservatives" concerned about "fiscal responsibility" and about "our children and grandchildren."

Excerpts from "Achieving a Leninist Strategy" 1983

"...Before Social Security can be reformed [destroyed], we must begin to divide this coalition and cast doubt on the picture of reality it presents to the general public."

"The first element consists of a campaign to achieve small legislative changes that embellish the private IRA system, making it in practice a small-scale Social Security system that can supplement the federal system. If these objectives are achieved, we will meet the next financial crisis in Social Security with a private alternative ready in the wings -- an alternative with which the public is familiar and comfortable, and one that has the backing of a powerful political force."

Views: 17

Comment by photo2010 on May 12, 2009 at 11:19pm
Barack Obama: “We Must All Learn to Live Within Our Means Again” Thursday, February 19, 2009
Does this apply to corporate America as well?
Comment by italianstallionette on May 13, 2009 at 8:13pm
I have to agree with photo. Makes you think...
Comment by photo2010 on May 13, 2009 at 10:51pm
Hi Gina! :) It always bothers me when those with wealth and power make proclamations about how the rest of us should live. Maybe if the government didn't blow billions on 'pork' and favors to big oil, pharmaceutical companies, banks and insurance companies, we would be in better shape. Ok, getting off the soap box.
Comment by SydTheSkeptic on May 14, 2009 at 5:14pm

Comment by Jim on May 15, 2009 at 8:32pm
All I know is I've put a lot of money INTO Social Security, so I better get it back in benefits someday. That's not socialism, that's a return on my investment. ;)


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