America Speaks: Talking Points On Social Security
Peter Peterson, billionaire Social Security hater, is opening a tiny door for actual Americans to explain to the rich why this time we aren’t going along with their plans to screw Social Security. I hope FDL readers will check out this site and make an appearance. You won’t be alone: MoveOn wants its members to show up too.
I have written several posts explaining my views, and by clicking here you can see all of FDLs posts on this subject. I have a draft paper which you can find here , which includes selected legislative history. That reading with your own stories will arm you to the teeth for a great speech. They won’t know what hit them.
Here are the points I think are most important.
1. We have paid excess Social Security taxes for 27 years to fill the Trust Fund.
2. We have $2.5 trillion in Treasury Bonds, accumulated from those excess taxes.
3. We should not have to pay twice, once to fill the Trust Fund and again to pay off the bonds.
4. This is exactly what the Greenspan Commission intended and promised: there would be money to pay for benefits, even as the baby boomers aged.
5. Anything less than full benefits is unfair all of us who paid excess FICA for years.
When they ask who will pay to redeem those bonds:
1. No body asks that question when we pay bonds held by Pete Peterson or Goldman Sachs or Japan.
2. The money funded tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, by taxing the poorest, while deficits piled up year after year.
3. Tax cuts during a deficit are loans.
4. Those tax cuts, those loans went to the wealthiest Americans.
5. Now those loans should be paid back by the people who got the tax cuts: the top 1%, those earning $400,000 per year and up.
1. Social Security is pre-funded. Other government agencies do contracts for years without pre-funding. Why pick on the pre-funded programs instead of cutting unfunded programs?
2. Social Security is insurance, not welfare, and has been from the beginning.
3. People used to be able to save for retirement. They had pensions. And they had Social Security. In this Great Recession, savings are eaten up. Pensions were replaced with 401(k) plans, and the recession hammered those too. Homes used to be a possible source of money; that won’t happen now. Many people depend on Social Security. Taxing people more makes it harder for them to save. Making them work until they are falling down is obscene.
4. The people on the Commission aren’t poor, and they aren’t middle class. Who represents the poor and middle class?
5. The problem is health care. Congress refused to cut the future costs of health care. What does the Commission recommend about controlling health care costs? Will they have death panels?
Oh, sorry. The Commission doesn’t want any disagreeable people. Try to avoid words like death panel, fraud, cheat, liar and billionaire thug. I’d go for capitalist pig when referring to Peter Peterson, and running dog lackey for David Walker, his henchman.