Social Security is a very popular system. A pillar of the New Deal, it provides tens of millions of workers with a guaranteed retirement income as well as disability and life insurance during their working lives.
Moreover, contrary to conservative rhetoric, the Social Security system is extremely efficient. According to economist Dean Baker, writing recently in TomPaine.Com, the administrative costs of Social Security are just 0.6 cents of every dollar that gets paid out in benefits, a very low figure for a major government agency. Social Security also has a minimal amount of fraud and abuse, Baker adds, as numerous government audits have repeatedly documented.
Despite this track record, privatizing Social Security is one of George Bush’s top second-term priorities. In the face of warnings from numerous economists of all political stripes, the financial industry– which stands to make billions in new business on privatized retirement accounts–and the Bush White House have been on a steady propaganda campaign to convince the public that Social Security is on the edge of bankruptcy and needs a quick fix.
Click here to read Baker’s explanation of why Social Security is NOT in crisis and check outEdith Fierst’s Christian Science Monitor Op-Ed detailing why privatization would be the wrong remedy even if it were.
Bush’s plans on this front are far from a done deal, and a well-organized public campaign is critical to stave off the possibility of some Democrats cutting a deal early–as they did on tax cuts (and as Ted Kennedy did on the Medicare bill).
So click here to join the Campaign for America’s Future in pressuring Congress to hold firm on the issue. As CAF says, “We can do to Bush on Social Security what Harry and Louise did to Clinton on health care.”