No. 1 on President Bush’s agenda in his second term will be privatizing Social Security (Nov. 5). Such an effort, if successful, will hijack a program fundamental to American retirees. It would result in “transitions” costs resulting in projected loss of revenues of $1 trillion to $2 trillion over 10 years.
The losses would be absorbed by future retirees by way of cuts in benefits. Such cuts would far outweigh any savings that may trickle down to the American middle class.
In light of the makeup of Congress, this radical assault on an American institution may well come to fruition, unless we voice strong opposition to our representatives.
Bush made his intentions regarding Social Security well known during both of his campaigns for the presidency. For those who buried their heads in the sand and voted for this train wreck of a president, you deserve what you may get.
Jeff M. Skiljan
I have read several times about a supposedly Republican mandate because Bush received more votes than any other presidential candidate in history.
Well, the presidential candidate who holds second place for the most votes of anyone in history is Sen. John F. Kerry with 56 million. This also means that Bush holds the dubious record of being the president with more votes cast against him than any other president in history. Is this a mandate of satisfied or dissatisfied voters?
If Bush insists on spending his “political capital” to ram his tax and Social Security programs down our throats, all he will do is further divide an already greatly divided country.
There is no such thing as a Social Security “trust fund.” The benefits paid to those who are retired come directly from the taxes collected from workers and their employers making Federal Insurance Contributions Act deductions.
If those paying are to invest their FICA in the stock market, where will the retirement benefits paid today come from? The graying of the baby boom generation and how to save Social Security in the future are complex matters, and this is not the simple solution.
In Wednesday’s victory speech, Bush said, “I will need your support and I will work to earn it.” Thursday he told us, “I earned capital in the campaign -- political capital -- and now I intend to spend it.” It took him 24 hours to go from “let’s work together” to “obey me.”
The conciliation and goodwill lasted longer than I thought it would.
I can’t help feeling that justice was served with Bush winning another four years. This way the Republicans cannot put the blame on a Kerry administration when the Iraq war worsens, which it surely will given that no plausible solution is in sight. Bush now has the “mandate” to fix the problems he himself created. Kerry won’t be the scapegoat. That’s justice and that will be Bush’s legacy.
Vivencio Valdez Jr.
Methinks that before the president “spends his political capital,” he should first pay back the deficit.
Owen R. Husney
Marina del Rey