Dan Borsch is president of the Louisville-Jefferson County Young Democrats. No one has filed against Anne Northup yet. The goal of this blog is to encourage support of Dan Borsch in a potential run for Congress.

Monday, January 09, 2006

And another...

This one from May of 2005. It was also originally posted at KentuckyDems.com.
The Real 'Crisis' in America is Not Social Security
Written by Dan Borsch

With all the numbers being thrown around in the discussion about the "crisis" facing Social Security, there is only one number that everyone should be focused on -- $10 TRILLION . That will be the amount of the national debt if President Bush's and Anne Northup's Social Security plan comes to pass. This number is the combined amount of the current national debt of $7.7 TRILLION plus the approximate $2 to $3 TRILLION dollar transition cost of creating so called "private" accounts. This exploded national debt will be financed by borrowing money that future generations will have to pay back either with higher taxes or devastating cuts in spending.

Someone will have to pay at the end of the day and that is going to be the young Americans who will inherit a crippling debt and be left holding an empty bag.

Maxing America's "credit cards" to this level will result in a crippling yearly interest payment of over $455 BILLION. And, we must not forget to account for the $825 BILLION we are adding to the National Debt every year. And keep in mind that in part due to un-funded federal mandates numerous states are running up huge deficits, including Kentucky where $2.1 BILLION in debt is being issued this year. Unfortunately, there is more bad news. On top of all that debt, our trade deficit reached a RECORD $618 BILLION in 2004. This debt is a crippling inheritance that every new member of this society will have to pay off. This is not smart policy and potentially will lead to a financial breakdown or crisis.

We cannot continue along this path much longer before we will be faced with the painful ramifications of our spending binge. To even consider adding $2 to $3 TRILLION to the national debt only to finance a risky unproven scheme that will undermine Social Security and reduce guaranteed benefits, is absurd and idiotic.

What gall to hype a fake "crisis" facing Social Security when Social Security, with no changes, will be able to pay all of the benefits it has promised until 2042 based on conservative estimates. Yes, the "crisis" is 37 years away. To solidify Social Security take three simple steps: (1) pay down our national debt; (2) roll back the early retirement age; and (3) adjust the cap on payroll taxes upward. The product you are selling, Mr. President and Congresswoman, is no more a cure to what ails us than snake oil.

As a nation, we had faith that President Bush was a straight shooter when he said that massive tax cuts that mainly benefited the wealthiest among us would stimulate the economy; we still had that faith when he proclaimed that Saddam Hussein had WMDs; we found faith to believe that Bush's changes in Medicare would cost $400 BILLION when the true cost is north of $724 BILLION.

Now, once again, President Bush is traveling the country asking us to have faith in his proposal to borrow trillions of dollars in order to create private accounts. I am sorry, but I have no more faith in you Mr. President. As you famously tried to say once, fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. Well today, young and old alike, are tired of having faith in you and your administration's proposals only to be made a fool. No more will we give you the benefit of the doubt.

What you have proposed can only be described as the intentional bankrupting of America. While this has been a stated goal of right-wing "Goldwater" Republicans for years, few believed we would ever live to see these destructive policies carried out. The day of reckoning is soon to arrive, and history has shown, it is not the wealthy and well-connected that pays the price, but the hardworking folks who are just trying to get a small piece of the American dream that bear the brunt of Washington's follies.

Mr. Bush I took the time to listen to your "pep rally" while you were here in Louisville and I was sadly disappointed. With your scripted and focus tested message, your pre-screened audience, and a folksy presentation, your sales job lacked any substance. You did not touch on any of the risks or costs and presented only the rosiest of fairy tale scenarios. And to add insult to injury, our Congresswoman, submits an article to the Courier Journal that would make Ken Lay of Enron fame proud to have Mrs. Northup's gift for fudging numbers. How convenient that in her calculations of future benefits, she forgets to account for any inflation. I guess Social Security privatization will magically eliminate inflation also.

Under Mrs. Northup's plan she says benefits will be paid in today's dollars forty years in the future. However, if your calculations include inflation in the next 40 years will average the same rate as during the last 40 years, then Mrs. Northup's $22,500 in yearly benefits will actually be the equivalent of only $3,805 a year today. How can the Congresswoman ask Americans to gamble trillions of dollars to get $3,805 a year?

Some people believe that only a lucky few should have a secure retirement. If you believe that every American, no matter their background or means, is entitled to the dignity of a secure retirement, then it is not possible to support a proposal that begins the destruction of one of the most successful programs ever devised as a guarantor of a secure retirement and eliminator of the devastating effects of poverty that this country has ever known.

To propose a $10 TRILLION national debt, ongoing budget deficits decades into the future, growing trade deficits, an unsustainable Medicare program, forcing un-funded mandates on the states, and a WAR with no end in sight, this is no inheritance to leave the young people of this country.


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