Friday, April 29, 2005

Stomach Turning

Literally. I did not see the Bush press conference last night, but as I read some bloggers' take on his Social Security proposals, my stomach is literally turning. You see, I am one of those unlucky ones who will have pretty much nothing but SS to rely on in my old age. And what Bush is proposing is cutting my benefits by somewhere around 20-25%.

Atrios explains:

President Bush called on Congress last night to curtail future Social Security benefits for all but low-income retirees in an urgent new effort to address the popular program's shaky finances. (Editor's Note: shaky finances is UNTRUE!)

Let's be clear, by "low income" we're really talking about "low income." Everyone else gets big benefit cuts. Here's the CBPP analysis of the Pozen plan, which is basically what Bush is embracing.

A "medium" earner, one earning $36,507 in 2005, would see benefits cut by 16% in 2045 and 28% in 2075.

A "high" earner, one earning $58,411 in 2005, would see benefits cut by 25% in 2045, and 42% in 2075.

OK so maybe this won't affect me much. I will likely retire in 2024 (age 70) but maybe as soon as 2019. But I may live for another 20 years or more after that. So let's say that I'm still alive and age 91 in 2045. And my benefits will suddenly be cut by 16%?!

And keep in mind this about how SS benefits are calculated and paid out:

A worker with an average income of $45,000 would get an initial Social Security benefit of $18,750 (which is 42% of his total income).

Geez Louise, is that the right way to treat an old lady?!

I mean, that's the fundamental deal here. This is really about the kind of society we want to have in America. Do we want to have a country in which we all chip in to take care of each other, or do we want to have a country in which its every man for himself with no sense of community? Guess which one Bush and his cronies want?

The truly amazing thing to me is that Christians support this! Isn't one of the fundamental tenets of Christianity to care for one another? So how any true believing Christian can support a guy who basically says of those people who have worked all their lives but never made a whole lot of money and had none left over to save for old age TOUGH! I don't get it.


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