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Bush Lies Proven: Clearly, We Will Cut Your Social Security Benefits

Dec. 9, 2004 (EIRNS)—"It [Bush's privatization plan] clearly would provide for slower growth in benefits than under current law," said Steven Goss, a member of Bush's Commission on Social Security and of the Social Security actuarial board, and present at an Oval Office "advisors' meeting" with President Bush Dec. 9. "The individual account is really a mechanism by which there is provided an opportunity to make that back up."

The actual cut of benefits, according to Goss, is $18 trillion over the next 75 years (likely speaking in real dollars; more in nominal dollars), "which is more than enough to maintain a positive balance in the trust funds." He was quoted in The Oregonian on line.

And is that only for retirees off in the future? As Bush always says, do "those at or near retirement know we'll never touch their benefits"? No, he's been lying. Further proof is in Republican Jim Kolbe's legislation, which Kolbe had a press conference to promote today. It is like the Cato Institute's and other plans, but it's been analyzed and "scored" by the Congressional Budget Office, so there are benefit figures to go with it. For workers in the middle 20% of U.S. incomes, here they are:

  • Retiring next year (i.e., born in 1940): $14,900 a year under existing Soc. Security; $13,900 under privatization.

  • Retiring in ten years (born in 1950): $15,200 a year under existing Soc. Security; $13,000 a year under privatization.

And it's all downhill from there. Rather than agree Social Security may need adjusting in 40 years, Bush wants to start cutting benefits, right away. Or is he going to denounce Kolbe and his proposed legislation?

The office of one member of the House Ways and Means subcommittee on Social Security, said that the White House is now saying it will be several months until a legislative plan on privatization will come forth, apparently some backoff on the timing since the reactions to Bush's Dec. 6 meeting with Congressmen and spokesman Scott McClellan's blurtings about it. Bush, in the Dec. 9 Oval Office availability prior to meeting with "Social Security advisors" (members of his Commission) would not confirm he wants Federal borrowing of "transition costs," which McClellan had stated as fact three days earlier. "I won't prejudge anything," said Bush. And he said he would wait for recommendations from the Commission before proposing anything, whereas the White House did propose a 4% diversion-to-Wall-Street plan in the Monday meeting. But Bush did "prejudge" for the press that he would never raise payroll tax rate or range, which got the media play. Bush upped McClellan's whopper from "a $10 trillion hole" to "an $11 trillion deficit." But Kolbe, at his press conference, doubled that to "a $22 trillion deficit." Figures matter little when a con man is making them up as he moves his hand toward your wallet.