Saturday, February 05, 2005

"Under the plan President Bush outlined . . . retirees' traditional Social Security benefits would be reduced"

Under the plan President Bush outlined Wednesday night in his State of the Union Message, retirees' traditional Social Security benefits would be reduced if they had diverted some of their tax money into private investment accounts, according to memorandum that the chief actuary of the Social Security system sent to the White House on the day of the president's address.
. . .
In his speech to the nation, the president never said, although it has always been implicit, that workers' retirement benefits from the government would be lowered if they chose to put tax money into personaal accounts.

That's from David E. Rosenbaum's "Memo Gives New Details on Workings of Bush's Social Security Plan" in this morning's New York Times (page A11).

Wendy e-mailed about that article and asked if we could highlight it.

A few notes.

The Bully Boy has spoken about how if you die, you take your benefits/monies with you under the current system. That is, of course, incorrect. (Perhaps it's "implicit" that when Bully Boy's lips move, falsehoods fly out?) Rebecca's blogged on this at Sex and Lies and Screeds and Attitude and probably some of you have also heard Al Franken refute this by noting his wife (Frannie) -- Frannie Franken's father passed away before she was an adult, she and her mother were able to keep their heads above water as a result of the current plan which does provide benefits/monies. (Ron also had a really strong post at Why Are We Back In Iraq? dealing with social security. Use the permalinks to access either site -- I'm in a huge rush this morning and I'm not doing links for this entry.)

But the Bully Boy's built his case around several points and one of the many lies is that you'll be able to "will" your monies to someone in the case that you die.

Who's going to be doing that sort of passing along? It's not you, it's not me. It will effect the same people who push for the end of the estate tax. That small group of overly monied people that the Bully Boy caters to with every round of tax cuts -- so don't be surprised that once again "Lap Dog" (ref to Rickie Lee Jones' song off her latest album) is rushing to help that tiny group while turning his back on the rest of us.

[If you're a community member belonging to that small group, congratulations on having no money worries. Now do something good and think about donating monies to Democracy Now!, Dahr Jamail, The Nation, In These Times, Pacifica Radio, etc.]

As for Rosembaum's claim that this "has always been implicit" -- not in the reporting in the Times. (Where is David Cay Johnson? Shouldn't the Times be assigning him to this story?)

Wendy notes this is "sort of big news, shouldn't it be on the front page?"

The Times doesn't like to break news (this story's already been covered on Air America Radio at length) and they appear to frown more and more on front paging any realities that might embarrass the Bully Boy. Maybe one Sunday, we'll find a serious article as the main story in the Sunday Magazine? That may be all we can hope for as the paper continues its attempt to curry favor with the administration.