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Trustees' 2005 Report Shows Bush Economics Is the Only Problem for Social Security

March 24, 2005 (EIRNS)--In the 2005 Social Security Trustees' Report released on March 23, the apparent changes in projections from previous reports—changes for the worse—were slight. However, given the great national attention to Social Security matters now, the negative changes present Democratic leaders an opportunity to attack the destruction of the U.S. physical economy by the Cheney/Bush Administration.

The report projects the date on which the Trust Fund will allegedly be exhausted, one year earlier than before—at 2041—and similarly with the date at which benefit payouts will allegedly exceed payroll tax collections—now projected at 2017. Aside from the already-exposed Malthusian "assumptions" on which the projections are based, a look at the reports of actual revenue from the payroll taxes makes clear that Bush's jobless and low-wage economy is the only problem.

The three-year period 2001 to 2004 under Bush shows a total growth in Social Security payroll tax revenue of only 9% (from $602 billion in 2001 to $658 billion in 2004); whereas any previous three-year period since 1984 has shown a growth of some 18-20%. For one year, from 2002-2003, Cheney/Bush even achieved a completely unprecedented zero growth in payroll tax income.

Obviously, if such dismal actual data is fed into any projections—whether falsely pessimistic or not, whether the SSA Trustees' or the more optimistic Congressional Budget Office's—the result will be deterioration of the Social Security system. Note that whereas the so-called "insolvency date" had been receding into the future so rapidly it might have shown a doppler-shift, that improvement has ground to a halt under Bush.

Also obviously, the rate of new jobs creation is key to the solvency of Social Security. Bush has created no jobs in four years--with 18 million people now unemployed, underemployed, or dropped out of the workforce, and real wages lower than in 2001--and has virtually killed the goose that lays the Social Security eggs. We could say that if, after FDR created Social Security in 1935, the Great Depression had continued for another 15-20 years, Social Security would not be around now to be defended from Bush's looting schemes.

The necessary thrust of debate is FDR-style recovery policies creating skilled jobs, like Lyndon LaRouche's "Super TVA" concept; and not, what benefits to cut, or whom to tax, to solve an "insolvency problem" named George W. Bush.