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sabrina 1's Journal
Posted by sabrina 1 in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Thu Aug 26th 2010, 03:11 PM
They will lie, use scare tactics and do whatever is necessary to once again attempt to get their hands on the Social Security fund so it is essential for people to have the facts so that they are not fooled by the tactics already being employed by members of 'The Deficit Commission'.

The Commission has become illegitimate as James Galbraith and other respected economists have pointed out, because of its focus on Social Security which has nothing at all to do with the Deficit.

Paul Waldman added his voice to those of other experts on the economy and explains why claiming that there is a crisis, or that that SS is partly responsible for the deficit is a lie:

There Is No Social Security Crisis

The myth of the "Social Security crisis" is so pervasive and so pernicious that it's necessary for those of us who actually believe in the program to respond to the crisis-mongers whenever we can. And they've got muscle -- witness the recent round of full-page newspaper ads featuring a looming iceberg and screaming headlines about the $56 TRILLION!!! we're supposedly in the red (these are funded by hedge-fund billionaire Pete Peterson, the Daddy Warbucks of the entitlement fear factory). So let's examine what the crisis-mongers say, and what the truth is.

For years, we've been told that Social Security is "going broke." It is also often said that at some future point, the program will "run out of money." Just last week, The Washington Post said matter-of-factly that "Social Security is projected to run out of money by 2041." This implies that at some future date, elderly recipients of Social Security will receive checks in the amount of $0, all the money having disappeared.

This is simply bogus. The truth is that the system is quite healthy and can meet all its future obligations with only minor adjustments or perhaps no adjustments at all, depending on what happens to the economy over the coming decades.

He goes on to explain why we do not have to worry about Social Security for decades to come and also deals with the Baby Boomers Retiring Myth

Enter the baby boomers, that endlessly self-absorbed, blood-sucking leech of a generation (I kid). Boomers have just begun to retire; in a few years, their numbers will cause the system to pay out more than it pays in. According to the Social Security trustees, who are responsible for overseeing the system, this will happen in 2017.

The prophets of doom believe that this date -- 2017, remember it, because they'll always bring it up -- is when the sky will tear loose from its moorings and begin hurtling toward our heads. But here's the thing: The period of benefits exceeding tax payments that is supposed to begin that year is exactly the reason why the Social Security surplus exists in the first place. We keep adding to the surplus every year precisely so that it will be there to draw on when we need it. And the baby boomers' retirement is when we'll need it.

But ah, you say, what happens when the trust fund is exhausted? Isn't that when all hell breaks loose, as the system truly "goes broke"?

No. The system will never "go broke."

It is worth reading the entire article. When the public is armed with the facts, it makes it more difficult for the 'prophets of doom' to succeed. Knowledge is power and can easily ward off any fears the propagandists catapult in our direction.

George Bush waited until after the 2004 election before attempting to deal with Social Security. His job was to convince the public that Social Security was facing a crisis and something had to be done about it.

The Republicans have been salivating over the huge Social Security fund for decades. Privatize it, cut benefits, raise the retirement age etc. and to do any of that, they have to convince the public that Social Security is in trouble, and/or contributing to the deficit. The fact that neither of these claims is true, hasn't deterred them.

He failed, they underestimated the political danger of attacking Social Security and airc, AARP launched a huge campaign to stop the rightwing agenda at that time. Where are they now?

Every reputable economist in the country has stated over and over again that there is no Social Security crisis and that Social Security has nothing to do with the Deficit. SS is a separate fund, the Deficit as James Galbraith and others have pointed out has been caused by the Financial Crisis:

James K. Galbraith’s Testimony Blasts Fiscal Commission

The New Deal website summed up James Galbraith's testimony before the Commission. The full text of his excellent address is linked in the article.

For a quick snapshot, Galbraith’s testimony is divided into ten sections, which address the following points:

-That the Commission’s work is illegitimate

-That current deficits and rising debt were caused by the financial crisis.

-That future deficit projections are generally based on forecasts which begin by unrealistically assuming full recovery

-That, having cured the deficits with an unrealistic forecast, CBO recreates them with another, very different, but equally unrealistic forecast.

-That the only way to reduce public deficits is to restore private credit.

-That Social Security and Medicare “solvency” is not part of the Commission’s Mandate.

-That as a transfer program, Social Security is also irrelevant to deficit economics.

-That markets are not calling for deficit reduction, either now or later.

-That in reality, the US government spends first & borrows later; public spending creates a demand for Treasuries in the private sector.

-That the best place in history (for this Commission) would be no place at all.

Our favorite line comes near the end with this withering address to the Commission: “You are plainly not equipped, either by disposition or resources, to take on the true cause of deficits now or in the future: the financial crisis.”

Professor Galbraith, we could not have said it better.

It is not enough to fire Alan Simpson, and/or Pete Peterson. The Commission itself should be disbanded.

President Obama said in the campaign in a debate with Hillary Clinton and John McCain both of whom favored a Commission on the deficit, that he opposed these kinds of commissions as they were really a 'stealth way to get around Congress debating and then voting on issues'.

Just as Bush waited until after the election to deal with their plans for Social Security, this administration is doing the same thing. Call and demand that they deal with it NOW, before the election. Because weare at the 'fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice etc. etc. stage.

They really do think we are stupid ...

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