2/3/2005

 

Editor, The Chronicle

 

     Once again President Bush is trying to hoodwink the American people with fear, lies and a manufactured fake crisis.  The Propaganda minister of Adolph Hitler was Joseph Goebels.  He said that if you tell a lie big enough and repeat it often enough the people will come to believe it.  Bush and company understand that the big lie can only be maintained as long as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and military implications of the lie.  A changing lie can be used to confuse the people.  A search for invisible weapons of mass destruction seamlessly becomes a bold fight for truth, justice and the American way. 

      The newest lie being promoted by Bush is that there is a crisis in the Social Security system.  He is trying to induce fear among the young by selling the idea that they will have no retirement funds unless the system is changed according to the gospel by Bush right now.  This is also a way to divide the people by age with the young pitted against the old.  The truth is that the report of his own Social Security trustees states that the program is fiscally sound for at least the next thirty-eight years.  With minor tweaking it can maintain the current level of benefits indefinitely. 

      Remember that currently 48 million people get checks  and 38% of those are disabled, widowed and children.  Social Security checks, whose recipients have an annual median income level of $11,000, are the sole income of one-third of Americans over the age sixty-five.  Under the President's plan of privatizing a portion of Social Security payments, conservative estimates expect a reduction of 40% in payments to future retirees.  The transition costs to set up the Bush plan is estimated at $2-3 trillion.  This increase in the deficit is money that future taxpayers will have to pay back with interest.

      The rationale Bush gives for his plan is that by playing the stock market workers can make more money than the government currently earns by selling bonds.  The stock market earnings are not guaranteed but the bonds are backed by the full faith and trust of the U.S. government.  If his plan had been in place 6-8 years ago when the market crashed how would you like to have been relying on that income to pay your bills?  Argentina tried a similar system a number of years ago.  Their economy tanked with a huge increase in the destitute elderly.

      A cynical person might suggest that the real reason for the Bush plan is all of the billions in commissions that will flow through the brokerage houses which were some of his major financial supporters in the last election.  A simple plan that would raise most if not all of the extra funds that may be needed 40-50 years from now would be to extend the social security tax to the wealthy.  Currently no social security tax is paid on all income over $90,000. 

       Why should those who are wealthy not pay their fair share?  No one in this country gets wealthy solely by their own efforts.  They either inherit wealth or earn it in the context of our whole social and economic culture.  The name Social Security implies a social contract to provide security to those in our society who cannot provide their own.

       I have confidence that the younger generation will see through the lies that Bush is promoting to induce fear and attacks between generations.  The younger voters were the only age group not supporting Bush in the last election.  They know bull when they hear it.

       All of us have relatives and friends who are dependent on their Social Security benefits.  Let those in Congress know that this attack on the poor and aged now and in the future will not be tolerated.  Don't be taken in by the political language coming out of Republican mouths that sounds truthful but is only wind.

 

Larry Kerschner POB 397  Pe Ell WA 98572  (W) 360-291-3232  (H) 360-219-3946