Did The President Lie About Social Security?

I don’t know if I agree with the following. Seems the Bush administration has been harping that Social Security will run out soon and that we need higher rates of return like we could get in private accounts. I am just not sure this all makes sense because there are so many Democrats and some Republicans against it. Perhaps this will make sense if someone explains it more clearly.

And if nothing is done by 2029, there will be a deficit in the Social Security trust fund, which will either require — if you just wait until then — a huge tax increase in the payroll tax, or just about a 25 percent cut in Social Security benefits.
So the trick is how to make this system last beyond 2029 without having undue new tax burdens on younger people who are trying to raise their children; what options are out there for doing that; and how can we also make it easier, as many of you said, to save for your own retirement. The one think I think is very important is that young people understand especially what the realities are. I mean, I saw a survey the other day that said that some people — a lot of people in their 20s thought it was more likely that they would see a UFO than that they would ever draw Social Security. Now, that’s not accurate. We can easily save this system. And we may be able to do a number of things, including some of the things that some of you suggested that would give a higher rate of return on the investment.

The President keeps telling us that Social Security will be in trouble and out of money by 2029. He said that there would need to be huge tax increases if we wait until then. He also said that we can save it if we do it now. Why should I believe him? How is it that so many Democrats could have it wrong? How can I believe a man who makes statements like these:

“[Investing] Will Earn A Higher Return And Keep Social Security Sound For 55 Years.”
“[W]hat I Believe We Should Do Is To Invest A Modest Amount Of This In The Private Sector, The Way Every Other Retirement Plan Does. The Arizona State Retirement Plan Does; Every Municipal Retirement Plan Does; Every Private Plan Does.”
“[E]ven After You Take Account Of The Stock Market Going Down And Maybe Staying Down For A Few Years, Shouldn’t We Consider Investing Some Of This Money, Because, Otherwise, We’ll Have To Either Cut Benefits Or Raise Taxes To Cover Them, If We Can’t Raise The Rate Of Return.”

I have a real hard time believing any of this because the man who is spewing this stuff has been caught lying a few times. Not lying about WMD but lying about having sex with that woman. You see, all these statements were made by William Jefferson Clinton when he was the President. When the Democrats were in the White House there was a problem with Social Security and their leader suggested the very same things that George Bush is espousing yet there was no outcry. This is probably because the Democrats failed to fix the system that they knew was broken and they do not want the Republicans to get credit for fixing a system they freely acknowledged had problems and in dire need of help. They do not want the hated George Bush to get credit for giving taxpayers a chance to put some of their own money away and having control over it. It sounded good when WJC wanted it but now that GWB is there they do not want to lose control. In all reality they probably never wanted to lose much control anyway. They want to use the money as a slush fund, not for your retirement.

Now I know I should not believe Clinton and most of the time I do not because he and his wife will say whatever is politically expedient and will achieve what they want. However, Clinton was in his second term when he said these things and he had nothing to really lose. I know many will point to the last election cycle where Clinton disagreed with Bush on the Social Security issue and even tell me he is only one person. Surely, the other Democrats know this issue. Well here is a list of a few Democrats from the same time period and what they thought about the situation:

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) Press Release: “Durbin Said Due To The Increasing Number Of ‘Baby Boomers’ Reaching Retirement Age, Social Security Will Be Unable To Pay Out Full Benefits … But The Sooner Congress Acts To Avert This Crisis The Easier And Less Painful It Will Be.” (Sen. Dick Durbin, “Reforming Social Security,” Press Release, 9/15/98)

Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND): “Fixing Social Security Is An Urgent Priority. It Ought To Be At The Top Of Both Parties’ Agendas.” (Sen. Byron Dorgan, “Fixing Social Security Must Top Both Parties’ Agendas,” Roll Call, 12/6/99)

Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND): “The Potential [Social Security] Crisis Should Be Viewed As An Enormous Success, Because It Means That We Are Living Longer And Healthier Lives.” (Betty Mills, Op-Ed, “What Would You Do About Social Security?” Bismarck Tribune, 8/5/98)

Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND): “I Was At The Social Security Summit At The White House, Along With 40 Of My Colleagues, Republicans And Democrats. And There Was Virtual Unanimity Of Opinion That We Simply Have To Get A Higher Return From The Social Security Investments.” (Fox News’ “Special Report,” 1/20/99)

House Members: Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI): “People Can See, I Think, A [Social Security] Crisis Where There Immediate Family Is Affected Even If Not Immediately … This Is Something That Affects Almost Everybody’s Immediate Family.” (Richard A. Ryan, “Social Security Reform Stalls,” The Detroit News, 2/2/02)

Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY): “I Am One Democrat That Truly Believes That Democrats Will Not Benefit By Doing Nothing On Social Security.” (Rep. Charles Rangel, Press Conference, 1/21/99)

Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-MA): “I Am An Advocate For Investing A Portion Of The Surplus In The Private Sector …” (Rep. Edward J. Markey, Committee On Commerce, U.S. House Of Representatives, Testimony, 2/25/99)

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY): “[I]t’s A Way Of Getting More Money – A Higher Return On The Trust Fund, And Is A Prudent And Good Thing To Do.” (Rep. Jerrold Nadler, Press Conference, 1/21/99)

Former Rep. Dick Gephardt (D-MO): “Why Should Social Security Recipients Be Disadvantaged By Not Getting To Be Able To Have Higher Returns Out Of The Stock Market?” (Rep. Dick Gephardt, Press Conference, 1/21/99)

Wow! Look at what they are saying. People are disadvantaged by not being able to get higher returns from the market. A higher return is prudent. Invest a portion in the private sector. Why is it that now there is no problem? My God, we thought Kerry was a flipper. The donks, just a few years ago, were saying we need the very things GWB wants now. Now they are saying Social Security is solvent and just needs to be tweaked a bit. Where was the AARP then? Why were they not telling Clinton not to tear down the house when there is only a leak in the plumbing? Why were they not telling the donks to leave “their” money alone? Why were there no commercials telling people that they earned it and should be allowed to keep it? The AARP is dead wrong on that. The people drawing Social Security did not earn it, they earned a wage and were forced to put some of it aside. The money they put aside has been pissed away by the government and spent on people who drew Social Security a long time ago. They are being paid with the money WE are paying in. And since the courts have ruled Social Security is a benefit that the government can decrease or stop at any time it is unlikely there will ever be individual control without private accounts. In addition, people who die before they collect any of it do not get to pass on to their heirs what THEY paid in to the system.

I know the folks on the left do not want to admit it but Social Security has been in trouble for some time. They like these schemes where money is redistributed. They do not really care where the money comes from, they only care that they keep getting it. The AARP is a lobby group that is not concerned with anything but looking out for its own interests. They use fear and hate to get their target audience (people close to or actually drawing Social Security) up in arms. They are distorting the truth. They will be the first to cry that we should have done something if we fail to act.

Perhaps the donks can stop this act of concern for Americans and put their partisan politics and hate for Bush aside and actually get down to doing something good for America for a change.

The sources for the above quotes are here , here and here.

This says it all!
Cartoon from this site.

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