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“Once in his life, every man is entitled to fall madly in love with a gorgeous redhead”
-Lucille Ball


"To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."
--Theodore Roosevelt, 1918

REGISTER TO VOTE




"The time is always right to do what is right"
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

"The "seven social sins": Knowledge without character,
Science without humanity,
Wealth without work,
Commerce without morality,
Politics without principles,
Pleasure without conscience,
Worship without self-sacrifice."
--Gandhi

"We have not inherited the world from our forfathers -
We have borrowed it from our children."
--Kashmiri, proverb
So here’s the scoop on Social Security:

Instead of fairly matching Social Security benefits to changing wage levels -- as has been the case for the past 30 years -- Bush wants to suddenly shift course and tie Social Security to an inflation index.

Since inflation grows at a much slower rate than wages, this proposal would significantly cut benefits for all working Americans. And these cuts are guaranteed -- whether you opt in to the Bush plan or not.

Here's what the Bush plan will mean for your retirement, according to yesterday's Washington Post:

· If you retire in 2022, Bush will cut your benefits by almost 10%
· If you retire in 2042, Bush will cut your benefits by more than 25%
· In 2075, our children and grandchildren will face a cut of 46% to their benefits.

And this is just the first step of the Republican Party's plan to dismantle the entire Social Security system. Soon Bush will launch a $40 million TV ad blitz to convince Americans that our grandkids will be left out in the cold if Social Security is not privatized.

Keep reading…

***

Dear MoveOn member,

Social Security is the crown jewel of progressive government -- a singular achievement that has reshaped what used to be penniless old age. Now George Bush and Republican leaders have made phasing out Social Security as we know it through privatization and massive benefit cuts their top priority for 2005.

Even House Republicans are skeptical about the scheme. According to a recent Washington Post article, as many as 40 Republican members are considering voting against it. So the final vote is likely to be extremely close, and Bush and the Wall Street firms that stand to make billions are pulling out all the stops. According to some reports, they're raising up to $100 million for advertising to apply pressure.

Bush started his publicity blitz on Tuesday, and now the clock is ticking for House and Senate members to state their position. We need to send them a message before it is too late. Let your members of Congress know that you want them to protect Social Security by signing our petition here.

Our goal is to deliver 200,000 signatures on a petition to Congress when they return after the January 20 inauguration. That is a big goal in such a short time but we know that you can help make it happen by forwarding this alert to your friends, family and coworkers.

In pushing this issue, Bush is working out of the same play book that he used for the war in Iraq. First, he's manufacturing a crisis, by grossly distorting the scale of the threat. Then, when Americans are convinced that the problem is clear and imminent, he'll propose a reckless solution -- privatization -- which just happens to help a lot of his corporate friends.

And of course, the gap between Bush's rhetoric and the truth is enormous. Social Security is a complicated issue, but the basics are really pretty simple:

· Social Security provides monthly benefits to some 44 million Americans who are retired, disabled or the survivor of a deceased parent. It provides most of the income for older Americans -- some 64 percent of their support. It has lifted generations of seniors out of poverty.
· Social Security is not in crisis.
That is an outright lie perpetrated in order to create the urgency for radical changes. Under conservative forecasts, the long-term challenges in Social Security do not manifest themselves until 2042. Even then Social Security has 70 percent of needed funds. That shortfall is smaller than the amount needed in 1983, the last time we overhauled Social Security. George Bush's Social Security crisis-talk is an effort to create a specter of doom -- just like the weapons of mass destruction claim in Iraq.
· Phasing out Social Security and replacing it with privatized accounts means one thing: massive cuts in monthly benefits for everybody.
Social Security privatization requires diverting taxes used to pay current benefits into privatized accounts invested in risky stocks. Without that money, Social Security benefits will inevitably be cut -- some proposals even cut benefits of current retirees. These benefit cuts are inevitable, since diverting Social Security money into privatized accounts means less money to pay current and future benefits.
· Every serious privatization proposal raises the Social Security retirement age to 70.
That might be fine if you're a Washington special interest lobbyist but it is incredibly unfair to blue-collar Americans with tough, physical jobs, or for African Americans and Latinos with lower life expectancies.
· Privatization means gambling with your retirement security.
There is probably an appropriate place for a little stock market risk in retirement planning -- but it isn't Social Security. Privatization exposes your entire retirement portfolio to stock market risks -- and the risk that you'll outlive any of your savings at retirement. You can't outlive your Social Security benefit.
· So who does benefit? Wall Street.
Giant financial services firms have been salivating for decades over the prospect of taking over Social Security. Wall Street would make billions of dollars in profit by managing the privatized accounts – money that would come directly from your benefits.

So far, the Democrats are united in the cause of protecting Social Security. If the Democrats are going to show some real backbone we need to back them. Show your support by signing the petition at the link below:
http://www.moveon.org/socialsecurity/

And after signing the petition, please help debunk the misinformation that's circulating by forwarding this email on to your friends and family.

Thanks for all you do.

--Tom Matzzie and Eli Pariser
MoveOn.org
January 13th, 2005

P.S.: For more information, here are some good resources:

Campaign for America's Future on Social Security

The Social Security Network by The Century Foundation

"The Iceberg Cometh" by Paul Krugman. The New York Times. January 11, 2005 (registration required)

"Bush Launches PR Campaign to change Social Security" by Richard Benedetto and Judy Keen, USA TODAY January 11, 2005

***

From Media Matters for America:

FOX's Angle presented one-sided report on Social Security

FOX News senior White House correspondent Jim Angle repeated Republican spin that Social Security is "heading for an iceberg ... unless significant reforms are undertaken," but failed to include the view of Democrats and many independent economists that Social Security is not in fact in crisis. Nor did he note that many believe that President Bush's plan to partially privatize Social Security will make the situation worse.

Read more...

*

A math lesson for media covering Social Security

This week, several news outlets vastly understated the amount of money that a reported Bush administration proposal would allow workers to divert into private accounts from their payroll taxes, which are currently paid into the Social Security Trust Fund.

Read more...

*

Robertson used misleading crisis rhetoric and rosy predictions to tout Bush Social Security plan

On the January 4 edition of the Christian Broadcasting Network's The 700 Club, host and Christian Coalition of America founder Reverend Pat Robertson echoed the Bush administration's misleading crisis rhetoric to hype the need for Social Security reform and made rosy predictions about the results that a privatized system would produce. Robertson falsely claimed that "in about 15 to 20 years everybody is going to find there's no [Social Security] money." He added that if we switch now to the privatized system, in 20 years Social Security will be "very solvent" and retirees will be "blessed."

Read more...

~~~

Word of the Day for Thursday January 13, 2005

indurate IN-dur-it; -dyur-, adjective:
Physically or morally hardened; unfeeling; stubborn.

IN-dur-ayt; -dyur-, transitive verb:
1. To make hard; to harden.
2. To harden against; to make hardy; to habituate.
3. To make hardened; to make callous or stubborn.
4. To establish; to fix firmly.

intransitive verb:
1. To grow hard; to harden.
2. To become established or fixed.

~~~

P.S. As has long been promised, I will soon be leaving Diaryland. I had agreed with hamiltonian that I would wait through the end of 2005 to give Andrew time to respond to my inquiries regarding my missing entries ( you know, like two years of time). Andrew never once answered any of my emails or my inquiries through tech support.

In truth, Diaryland is not sufficient for what I want this page to become now, anyway, so my leaving here is all for the best.

So keep an eye open for a link to my new page, coming soon! :)



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