According to Sam and Jim Commenting on things that irk us off, make us laugh out loud or just seem too weird too believe According to Sam and Jim: Hands off Social Security!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Hands off Social Security!

Dear Readers:

I just received an email from Jim Dean, Chair of Democracy for America. The email said, (Senator) "Bernie Sanders is leading the fight to keep Social Security safe, stable and secure. Make no mistake about it -- Republicans are dead-set on using the so-called deficit "Super Committee" to destroy Social Security as we know it.”

Sam and I are tempted to send a letter to the Presidential Candidates and others who are drooling to drastically redefine Social Security and its benefits and say: “Please kindly keep your danged sticky paws off my Social Security. What possesses you to believe that Social Security is a Ponzi Scheme and that you can successfully “privatize” it by forcing American workers to invest their money in stocks, insurance companies and 401 plans – so-called personal retirement accounts – and unleashing the power of the “market.”

You only have to look at what’s happening in the market these days to see that the market is ruining the lives of many people who invested in it. Obviously, jumping gung-ho into the free-market economy like we have the past couple of decades has done far more harm than good. Businesses – especially financial institutions - are failing right and left. And we’re supposed to trust our money to those bozos?

Bernie Sanders is an independent senator representing the state of Vermont (he generally caucuses with the Democrats). He argues that, “Social Security is the most successful government program in our nation's history and has said he is delighted that the (Obama) White House has decided not to cut benefits under the program that has kept millions of retirees out of poverty.”

Sanders has pointed out that Social Security has a $2.5 trillion surplus, can pay out every benefit for the next 27 years and has not contributed one nickel to the deficit. “Social Security should be strengthened, not cut,” he says.

But the Republicans keep pushing an agenda to drastically restructure or abolish Social Security. That smarmy Texas Republican presidential candidate wants to dump Social Security on the strength of apparently successful attempts by three Texas counties to privatize their worker retirements. Under those county’s schemes, the employee’s money, along with any employer contribution, goes into a personal account that invests in a limited number of approved options. Those accounts usually follow the stock market, in good times and in bad (notice the word bad). The three county plans fallow what is called a “banking model.” Employee and employer contributions are actively managed by a financial planner—in this case, First Financial Benefits, Inc., of Houston, which both originated the plan and has managed it since inception.'s-social-security-stance-dangerously-ignorant

The scary words that jump out at me here are “banking model,” and “actively managed by a financial planner.” Those are the very people who have recently screwed this country into financial purgatory.

Ezra Klein, a columnist at the Washington Post, as well as a contributor to MSNBC, suggests rather than get sidetracked over whether the Social Security pension program is a “monstrous lie” where Americans are being defrauded, that we just look at some factual numbers. “Over the next 75 years,” Klein points out, “Social Security’s shortfall is equal to about 0.7 percent of GDP (pdf). If we increase its revenues by that amount -- which could be accomplished by lifting the cap on payroll taxes -- or reduce its benefits by that amount or do some combination of the two, Social Security is back in the black. Here are 30 policy tweaks that he believes could get us there.

Unleashing the power of the market will not necessarily better the lives of average Americans. If it sounds like dog poop, smells like dog poop and has the appearance of being dog poop– it’s dog poop!

Check out some stats on the Social Security Administration’s web site before you decide. Woof!

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