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IS THE SOCIAL SECURITY REFORM EFFORT OVER?
PART 3

 

 

By: Devvy

May 26, 2005

NewsWithViews.com

"In 1993 we began to put our fiscal house in order with the Deficit Reduction Act, which you'll all remember won passages in both Houses by just a single vote....Tonight I ask you to work with me to make a bipartisan down payment on Social Security reform by crediting the interest savings from debt reduction to the Social Security Trust Fund so that it will be strong and sound for the next 50 years....Indeed, we must make these investments and these tax cuts in the context of a balanced budget that strengthens and extends the life of Social Security and Medicare and pays down the national debt." Clinton, State of the Union Address, 2000

It appears the so-called Deficit Reduction Act of 1993 didn't work too well under a Republican controlled Congress because the debt went up $1,262,689,326,747.48 during Clinton's regime.

"We increase spending next year for Social Security and Medicare, and other entitlement programs, by $81 billion....To make sure the retirement savings of America's seniors are not diverted in any other program, my budget protects all $2.6 trillion of the Social Security surplus for Social Security, and for Social Security alone." Bush, Jr., Address of the President to the Joint Session of Congress, February 2001

Please note Mr. Bush's words here "...protects all $2.6 trillion of the Social Security surplus." What surplus? Social security taxes are put into the general fund of the treasury and are not ear marked for any specific spending purpose. Since the treasury is empty, each month these geniuses in Congress have to borrow more IOUs from the central bank to pay the bills. Later you will read Bush's words in a speech that doesn't quite jive with his bull above.

"Retirement security also depends upon keeping the commitments of Social Security, and we will. We must make Social Security financially stable and allow personal retirement accounts for younger workers who choose them." Bush, Jr., State of the Union Address, 2002

"A growing economy, and a focus on essential priorities, will also be crucial to the future of Social Security. As we continue to work together to keep Social Security sound and reliable, we must offer younger workers a chance to invest in retirement accounts that they will control and they will own." Bush, Jr., State of the Union Address, 2003

"Younger workers should have the opportunity to build a nest egg by saving part of their Social Security taxes in a personal retirement account. (Applause.) We should make the Social Security system a source of ownership for the American people. And we should limit the burden of government on this economy by acting as good stewards of taxpayers' dollars. In two weeks, I will send you a budget that funds the war, protects the homeland, and meets important domestic needs, while limiting the growth in discretionary spending to less than 4 percent. This will require that Congress focus on priorities, cut wasteful spending, and be wise with the people's money. By doing so, we can cut the deficit in half over the next five years." Bush, Jr. State of the Union Address, 2004

When Bush took office, the debt was $5.7 trillion dollars. Today it is $7,768,380,239,101.88

"One of America's most important institutions -- a symbol of the trust between generations -- is also in need of wise and effective reform. Social Security was a great moral success of the 20th century, and we must honor its great purposes in this new century. (Applause.) The system, however, on its current path, is headed toward bankruptcy. And so we must join together to strengthen and save Social Security." Bush, Jr., State of the Union Address, 2005

And now for Congress. "Reform" has meant expansion:

Major Statutes:

  • 1950 PL 81-734 Social Security Amendments
  • 1952 PL 82-590 Social Security Amendments
  • 1954 PL 83-761 Social Security Amendments
  • 1956 PL 84-880 Social Security Amendments
  • 1958 PL 85-836 Welfare Pensions Plans Disclosure Act
  • 1958 PL 85-840 Social Security Amendments
  • 1961 PL 87-64 Social Security Amendments
  • 1962 PL 87-420 Welfare Pensions Plans Disclosure Act
  • 1962 PL 87-792 Self-Employed Individuals Tax Retirement Act
  • 1967 PL 90-248 Social Security Act Amendments
  • 1969 PL 91-172 Tax Reform Act
  • 1971 PL 92-5 Social Security Amendments
  • 1972 PL 92-336 Social Security Amendments
  • 1972 PL 92-603 Social Security Amendments (Supplemental Security Income)
  • 1973 PL 93-233 Social Security Benefits Increase
  • 1974 PL 93-406 Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)
  • 1976 PL 94-455 Tax Reform Act
  • 1977 PL 95-216 Social Security Act Amendments
  • 1978 PL 95-600 Revenue Act
  • 1983 PL 98-21 Social Security Act Amendments
  • 1986 PL 99-514 Tax Reform Act

"Summary of Government Efforts: Congress maintained its efforts to ensure the financial security of older Americans throughout the latter half of the twentieth century by expanding Social Security and passing a wide range of legislation helping Americans to save money for retirement more effectively. "The Social Security program had provided income assistance for older Americans since passage of the Social Security Act of 1935. Congress significantly expanded benefits distributed under the Act's Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) program in 1950, 1952, 1954, 1956, 1958, 1961, 1967, 1969, 1971, and 1972. Many of these bills also funded block grants to states for additional aid to the blind, disabled, and older Americans. (The portion for older Americans acted as a supplement to Social Security payments.) The 1956 bill added a new insurance program for disabled workers 50 years of age or older, a move that changed OASI to Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI). (Congress lifted the age 50 requirement in 1960.) And the 1972 legislation indexed Social Security benefits to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to ensure that benefits would increase with prices.

"Congress reformed Social Security several more times after 1972. A 1973 bill increased benefits across the board by another 11 percent and replaced federal-state programs for the blind, disabled, and older Americans with the new Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. SSI followed the Social Security pattern of providing direct federal aid.

"An expanding recipient population prompted the government to take several actions to shore up the program's solvency. In 1977, Congress raised Social Security tax rates to levels expected to bring in $227 billion in additional revenue over ten years. In 1983, Congress approved a gradual increase in the normal beneficiary age from 65 years to 66 years by 2009 and 67 years by 2027. Recipients had had the option of taking early retirement at age 62 with 80 percent of full benefits. The 1983 law retained this provision but reduced the share of full benefits to 75 percent in 2009 and 70 percent in 2027. Congress also removed a clause that had allowed state and local governments to opt out of the system. In 1995, the Social Security Administration [http://www.ssa.gov/] became an independent federal agency."

Part 1, Part 2, 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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"An expanding recipient population prompted the government to take several actions to shore up the program's solvency. In 1977, Congress raised Social Security tax rates to levels expected to bring in $227 billion in additional revenue over ten years...."