Monday, May 09, 2005

AARP Opposes Social Security

I keep seeing that AARP is opposing anything being done to save Social Security. AARP used to be the American association of retired people, but now it means nothing. Truly, I heard their spokesman say so in an interview. So I wrote this letter to the Washington branch: AARP, I have been seeing in various places that you are opposing fixing the problems of Social Security. The first problem: Social Security is a Ponzi scheme. What I have been paying for 44 years went to fund dead-end freeways named after Congressmen, and some for benefits. Second, Social Security does not grow the taxes we pay into it. So it will underperform. It cannot meet the benefits promised to people currently paying into it. Something has to be done. Our choices are to (1) increase taxes, (2) decrease future benefits, or (3) increase the growth. President Bush has proposed decreasing future benefits to the higher income people and allowing increased growth. Bush has taken a great political risk and proposed a solution. You oppose him, but you don't offer another solution. I read the article by Ed Singler, AARP Washington State President, on your web site. His facts are wrong. For example: "Social Security is the most successful domestic program in our nation's history." Social Security at present returns about 1% on what we pay in. That is not a successful program. Anyone can earn more over the long haul, despite ups and downs. He vigorously opposes allowing my son and daughters to have some of their SS tax money go into a personal account. When my daughters are able to have personal accounts they will grow a nest egg that they can use or give to their children. I paid for 44 years, but if I die today someone gets one small check and the black hole of the government gets my 41 years of sweat. [This is true if my lovely wife dies the same day.] [When I read this I start getting mad.] Question: Do you oppose the current practice of using today's payroll tax collections to pay for whatever politicians want to spend on? It's a Ponzi scheme. Anyone who says to do nothing appears to support this corrupt practice. Question: If accounts invested in stocks and bonds are fatally risky, why do you recommend your members do the same with their personal savings? ("AARP encourages Americans to plan, save and invest for their retirement years....") Ron Hebron Lake Forest Park, WA Update.Those who regard Prof. Paul Krugman a reliable authority on Social Security should read his correction department. Donald Luskin exposes the two inaccuracies that Krugman based Monday's column on. First, Krugman ignores the second part of the President' proposal, so he can say that benefits are not increased for low-income people. The change in indexing leaves the benefit unchanged. But guaranteeing that no one will receive less than the poverty level is an increase. Second, Krugman says that Bush is wrong to say the largest benefit reduction will be for the high income people. Krugman finds it to be at $60,000. But Krugman should redo his calculations and correct his error. Luskin cites 3 ways of calculating the change which all find the largest per centage reduction at 90,000. (The SSA's is reprinted here.) The New York Times, where Krugman is published, on May 1, prints charts that show the reduction. And it is largest for those now making $90,000. Will Krugman print a correction?


DarkSyde said...

Ron I dunno how old you are. I'm 43. I've been paying into Social Security all my life. I've paid in well over 150,000 dollars. I pay enough every month to buy a turbo vette. That money was and still is sent in under a guarunteed deal-I even get a statement from the SS admin telling me how much I'm going to get and how much I've paid in every now and then.

I don't want the deal changed. The Trust Fund is good until about 2050 which should see me through OK. So as far as I'm concerned, there's no crises, hence no need to make changes (Shrug). I don't trust politicians in general with my money or interests. But after the WMD screw-up, the gay baiting election deal, not to mention elmiminating the tax on mega-estates, I simply do not trust Bush on anything: But if I had to pick one issue I trust them on the least at this point, it would be giving a shit about the working classes over the ultrawealthy.
This isn't limited to Bush BTW-If of my reps, or Senators, or anyone else I can vote against of any party, so much as touches social security or implies they're not going to pay that money back they borrowed over the last twenty years with full interests and principle, I will vote against them no matter what other issues are on the table. I've sent them e-mails saying this, and I've encrouraged a number, roghly about one-hunred senior citizens here in Florida from both sides of the aisle to do the same. I'm only one of thousands working to do this in Florida. And I pomise you, it's an easy sell to everyone form flaming old democratics to stodgy old dyed in the wool republicans. They will vote, and they will contribute, in huge numbers, to the guy who doesn't fuck up the system. Social Security nonsense from Bush is hurting him more than iraq so far. It's actaully kind of weird that he;s doing this. I suoppose since he's a lame duck, he doesn't care so much, but Congress cares a lot. I get an update in mail boc\xf rom time to time from both my state senators assuring me that they won't cut social security. The President is deader than a doornail on this.

The absolute absurdity of the BushCo plan as proposed right now can be summed up in one gloriously self contradictory sentence by Krugman: To fend off future benefit cuts, the President is proposing future benefit cuts...

Social Security ain't going to be changed or degraded if the majority of the people affected have anything to say about it. It's that simple-and I'm not even close to alone on this.
Now personally I'm kind of glad BushCo is distracted by this because it's not going to ever pass, it's dragging them down and making them even more unpopular and it keeps them from screwing up too much else.

tradersmith said...

No one ever said they were not going to pay you. This proposal is to allow the young folks to opt in to a stock market system with 1-2% of what they put in.

I just don't understand people's opposition. My mom is another like you like is dead set. Even at her age, she has been frightened that someone is going to reduce her social security payments.

As more and more is written, I find it interesting that there are people that are challenging the 2050 statement.

Also, I chuckled on your reasons for not trusting Bush. I will bet you $1000 you didn't like Bush or trust him before these trumped up reasons you cited occurred.

I have a brother-in-law who hated Bush because his information came from the holdovers from the Clinton State Department. Go figure!!