Maine Politics

From the Piscataqua to the St. John

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Who are you?

As I read a letter to the editor today in the PPH by a man who described himself as a "young worker" and was concerned about social security, I couldn't believe how riddled it was with misinformation. And I was amazed by the kind of disingenuous, debunked scare tactics he was using.
By 2018, Social Security will start to pay out more benefits than current workers are paying into it in taxes. By the time I retire, Social Security will be close to failure, and, if something isn't done to fix it, the tens of thousands of dollars I'll have paid in Social Security taxes will have been for nothing.

His idea for the "something" that must be done is (of course) carving out trillions of dollars from the program to fund private accounts, effectively destroying Social Security. The letter is signed "Dwayne Bickford, Topsham".

That name jogged something in my memory, but I couldn't remember where I'd heard it before. Thank God for google. Turns out Bickford was, until last month, the Executive Director of the Maine Republican Party, a post he held for the past 6 years. He also ran (and lost) for state rep in 1998, and was a delegate to the RNC last year.

Here's Bickford talking with former Governor Jock McKernan.

Here's a pic of Bickford with Republican Congressman David Dreier of California.

And here's Bickford getting leid with Jim Longley.

Nowhere in his letter does this "young worker" mention that he's actually a Republican stooge trying to make it look like working folk support Bush's plan to privatize Social Security

Visit the new Maine Politics.


Most letters to the editor are by political activists of one stripe or the other. I recognize the names of many letter writers in the Maine papers. Most writers are active in political parties or interest groups. Very few on hot button issues are from average people who are motivated to write out of personal interest. 

Posted by George

3/13/2005 03:18:00 PM


If I notice other hacks whose hackery rises to this level, I'll be sure to point them out too. :) 

Posted by Mike

3/13/2005 03:50:00 PM


I don't know that I agree with George on his assertion that most letters to the editor are written by political activists. More importantly, I don't know that most folks who write letters to the editor misrepresent their identity ("young worker") or mistate verifiable facts (asserting that "Social Security will be close to failure," when under the worst case scenario he assumes, it will be paying 80% of future benefits).

If Republicans didn't tell so many lies about Social Security, people might be more willing to listen to what they have to say about it. 

Posted by Pudentilla

3/14/2005 08:35:00 AM


Is anyone in their thirties a young worker?

If my mother only got 80% of her check next month she would certainly see that as the system failing. If I could only pay 80% of my bills next month, I would be failing financially. 

Posted by George

3/14/2005 09:13:00 PM


George, that assumes that sometime in the next half century some relatively minor changes aren't made to shore up the program, something like a 1983-style solution or even removing the tax cap, both of which would make this kind of problem dissapear immediately.

In fact, if the economy grows at the same rate as it has in the past, there will be absolutely no shortfall in social security for as far into the future as anyone can predict.

So Bickford's (and Bush's) solution to this all-but nonexistent problem is to carve out private accounts and cost the system trillions.

It's one thing to believe that Social Security should be privatized and argue for that, but to argue for private accounts as a way to "save" social security is fundamentally dishonest. 

Posted by Mike

3/15/2005 08:24:00 AM


Republicans are just following the same strategy that Democrats have used with health care. The Dems can't sell a full-scale government takeover so they are doing their best to destroy the private market and to expand government health care one step at a time.


Posted by George

3/15/2005 06:47:00 PM


Bickford is a stooge.... 

Posted by bob Mills

6/18/2006 06:04:00 PM


Bickford is a stooge....

of the Republican Party, its a shame, beacuse they lack direction as do both the Democrats...we should run all elections as power means nothing to the masses 

Posted by bob Mills

6/18/2006 06:11:00 PM



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