Social Security Misinformation
The Maine Heritage Policy Center has released its first "issue brief" on Social Security. This single-page memo was edited by James Hamilton, an operative sent to Maine by the Washington-based Heritage Foundation. This discussion from the right-wing website Townhall.com gives an idea of what Hamilton is after. "Most reformers agree that the ideal is to fully privatize Social Security" he says, and goes on to compare Social Security to a Ponzi scheme.
The brief was written by Leanne Abdnor who founded the Alliance for Worker Retirement Security which, according to the New York Times was "started by Ms. Abdnor in the late 1990's at the behest of the National Association of Manufacturers, [and] now includes powerful industry lobbying groups. The alliance has close ties to the White House."
The memo written for Mainers by these two right-wing Washington pundits states "...when baby boomers begin to retire in about 10 years, [Social Security] taxes wont be enough to pay their promised benefits.The benefit obligations will begin to soar, with the shortfall each year."
This piece of spin fails to recognize the fact that the Social Security system has reserves to cover benefits after this date and that if the economy continues increasing at the same rate as it has in the past (as recently discussed) there will be no problem with Social Security ever.
This reminds me of a similar line that President Bush has used to argue for privatization. He said Social Security "will be bust in 10 years unless there are some changes.. The ideal solution would be for Social Security to be made sound and people given the chance to invest the money the way they feel." He said it to the Midland Country Club during his unsuccessful run for Congress in Texas in 1978. Social Security didn't end in 1988 and it's not going to end in 2015, or 2025, or for as long into the future as we can currently predict.
Visit the new Maine Politics.