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IS THE SOCIAL SECURITY REFORM EFFORT OVER?
PART 2

 

 

By: Devvy

May 26, 2005

NewsWithViews.com

"Some of you have heard from constituents, I know, afraid that social security checks, for example, were going to be taken away from them. Well, I regret the fear that these unfounded stories have caused, and I welcome this opportunity to set things straight. We will continue to fulfill the obligations that spring from our national conscience. Those who, through no fault of their own, must depend on the rest of us -- the poverty stricken, the disabled, the elderly, all those with true need -- can rest assured that the social safety net of programs they depend on are exempt from any cuts. The full retirement benefits of the more than 31 million social security recipients will be continued, along with an annual cost-of-living increase." Reagan, State of the Union Address, 1981

"Just 10 days ago, after months of debate and deadlock, the bipartisan Commission on Social Security accomplished the seemingly impossible. Social security, as some of us had warned for so long, faced disaster. I, myself, have been talking about this problem for almost 30 years. As 1983 began, the system stood on the brink of bankruptcy, a double victim of our economic ills. First, a decade of rampant inflation drained its reserves as we tried to protect beneficiaries from the spiraling cost of living. Then the recession and the sudden end of inflation withered the expanding wage base and increasing revenues the system needs to support the 36 million Americans who depend on it.

"When the Speaker of the House, the Senate majority leader, and I performed the bipartisan -- or formed the bipartisan Commission on Social Security, pundits and experts predicted that party divisions and conflicting interests would prevent the Commission from agreeing on a plan to save social security....Tonight, I'm especially pleased to join with the Speaker and the Senate majority leader in urging the Congress to enact this plan by Easter. There are elements in it, of course, that none of us prefers, but taken together it performs a package that all of us can support. It asks for some sacrifice by all -- the self-employed, beneficiaries, workers, government employees, and the better-off among the retired -- but it imposes an undue burden on none. And, in supporting it, we keep an important pledge to the American people: The integrity of the social security system will be preserved, and no one's payments will be reduced." Reagan, State of the Union Address, 1983

"The detailed budget that we will submit will meet the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings target for deficit reductions, meet our commitment to ensure a strong national defense, meet our commitment to protect Social Security..." Reagan, State of the Union Address, 1986

National debt when Reagan took office: 1981: $930,210,000,000.00. By the time Reagan left office in 1988, the national debt had risen to over three trillion dollars. That's $3,000,000,000,000,00

"We have a moral contract with our senior citizens. And in this budget, Social Security is fully funded, including a full cost-of-living adjustment. We must honor our contract." Bush, Sr., State of the Union Address, 1989

"I'm talking about Social Security. To every American out there on Social Security, to every American supporting that system today, and to everyone counting on it when they retire, we made a promise to you, and we are going to keep it. We rescued the system in 1983, and it's sound again -- bipartisan arrangement. Our budget fully funds today's benefits, and it assures that future benefits will be funded as well. The last thing we need to do is mess around with Social Security." Bush, Sr., State of the Union Address, 1990

"My plan would freeze all domestic discretionary budget authority, which means no more next year than this year. I will not tamper with Social Security, but I would put real caps on the growth of uncontrolled spending. And I would also freeze Federal domestic Government employment. And with the help of Congress, my plan will get rid of 246 programs that don't deserve Federal funding." Bush, Sr., State of the Union Address, 1992

How many worthless programs did Bush and Congress eliminate? The debt will tell you:
1989 $2,857,430,960,187.32
1992 $4,064,620,655,521.66

"Now, my budget cuts a lot. But it protects education, veterans, Social Security, and Medicare, and I hope you will do the same thing." Clinton, State of the Union Address, 1995

"Our Federal Government today is the smallest it has been in 30 years, and it's getting smaller every day." Clinton, January 1996

National debt 30 years before Clinton gave this speech: $329,319,249,366.68

I can see how the government in 1996 was the smallest in 30 years.

Debt when Clinton took office (1993): $4,411,488,883,139.38
Debt when Clinton left office (2000): $5,674,178,209,886.86

"I believe it is both unnecessary and unwise to adopt a balanced budget amendment that could cripple our country in time of economic crisis and force unwanted results, such as judges halting Social Security checks or increasing taxes. Let us at least agree, we should not pass any measure--no measure should be passed that threatens Social Security." Clinton, State of the Union Address, 1997

"Now, if we balance the budget for next year, it is projected that we'll then have a sizable surplus in the years that immediately follow. What should we do with this projected surplus? I have a simple four-word answer: Save Social Security first....Tonight I propose that we reserve 100 percent of the surplus--that's every penny of any surplus--until we have taken all the necessary measures to strengthen the Social Security system for the 21st century. Let us say to all Americans watching tonight--whether you're 70 or 50, or whether you just started paying into the system--Social Security will be there when you need it. Let us make this commitment: Social Security first. Let's do that together....And one year from now I will convene the leaders of Congress to craft historic, bipartisan legislation to achieve a landmark for our generation: a Social Security system that is strong in the 21st century. [Applause] Thank you." Clinton, State of the Union Address, 1998

Sizeable surplus? When Clinton gave this speech, the national debt created by Congress and previous presidents was:

$5,526,193,008,897.62. If you are five trillion, five hundred twenty-six billion, one hundred ninety-three million, eight thousand, eight hundred ninety seven thousand dollars and sixty-two cents in debt with no money in the U.S. Treasury, how do you call that a surplus?

"So with our budget surplus growing, our economy expanding, our confidence rising, now is the moment for this generation to meet our historic responsibility to the 21st century....So first, and above all, we must save Social Security for the 21st century. Today, Social Security is strong. But by 2013, payroll taxes will no longer be sufficient to cover monthly payments. By 2032, the Trust Fund will be exhausted and Social Security will be unable to pay the full benefits older Americans have been promised. The best way to keep Social Security a rock-solid guarantee is not to make drastic cuts in benefits, not to raise payroll tax rates, not to drain resources from Social Security in the name of saving it.

"Instead, I propose that we make the historic decision to invest the surplus to save Social Security. Specifically, I propose that we commit 60 percent of the budget surplus for the next 15 years to Social Security, investing a small portion in the private sector, just as any private or State Government pension would do. This will earn a higher return and keep Social Security sound for 55 years. But we must aim higher. We should put Social Security on a sound footing for the next 75 years...They should be made this year. So let me say to you tonight, I reach out my hand to all of you in both Houses, in both parties, and ask that we join together in saying to the American people: We will save Social Security now." Clinton, State of the Union 1999.

".. investing a small portion in the private sector," Didn't the Democrats support Bill on this? Wait! Isn't this what Mr. Bush has been pushing the past couple of months - that you should have the option to invest a small portion of your SS taxes in the private sector, i.e. stocks or other investments? So, how come the Democrats in Congress are having such fits now? It was good enough when their party sat in the White House.

Part 1, Part 3, Part 4

2005 Devvy Kidd - All Rights Reserved

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Devvy Kidd authored the booklets, Why A Bankrupt America and Blind Loyalty, which sold close to 2,000,000 copies. Devvy appears on radio shows all over the country, ran for Congress and is a highly sought after public speaker. Get a free copy of Why A Bankrupt America from El Dorado Gold. Devvy is a contributing writer for www.NewsWithViews.com.

Devvy's website: www.devvy.com

E-mail is: devvyk@earthlink.net


 

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"I believe it is both unnecessary and unwise to adopt a balanced budget amendment that could cripple our country in time of economic crisis and force unwanted results, such as judges halting Social Security checks or increasing taxes...."