Friday, November 13, 2015

Privatization of Social Security: What Kind of Security is That?

by Nomad

When it comes to Social Security, the differences between the two parties could hardly be more clear.

 

Democratic Presidential frontrunners Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are both advocating expansion of Social Security. Clinton also saw it as an issue particularly important to women.

"We have a lot of women on Social Security, particularly widowed and single women who didn't make a lot of money during their careers.They are impoverished, and they need more help from the Social Security system."
Bernie Sanders' view on Social Security is extremely clear.
For more than 75 years, Social Security has, in good times and bad, paid out every nickel owed to every eligible American. Social Security has succeeded in keeping millions of senior citizens, widows and orphans and the disabled out of extreme poverty...Social Security is a promise that we cannot break. We have got to keep our word.
In addition, Sanders introduced Keeping Our Social Security Promises Act which was designed to keep the program solvent for the next 50 years.
In other words, voters are likely to have a clear choice between the Dems and the Republicans in this election. 
*   *   *
In 1935, Roosevelt asked Congress to draft legislation which would establish a national old-age pension system. Opposition to the idea called it a governmental invasion of the private sphere.


Upon its passage in August of that year, Roosevelt said:
We can never insure one hundred percent of the population against one hundred percent of the hazards and vicissitudes of life, but we have tried to frame a law which will give some measure of protection to the average citizen and to his family against the loss of a job and against poverty-ridden old age.
Republican Kansas Governor Alf Landon was a strong critic of the law and called for its repeal. Particularly upset the program was financed through a payroll tax, Landon called it "the largest tax bill in history" and "a cruel hoax" on workers. The public apparently didn't agree and when Landon ran against Roosevelt in the 1936, Roosevelt received a whopping 60% of the vote, one of the most decisive outcomes in US history. 

In 1941, five years after President Roosevelt recalled why social security was based on payroll contributions, rather than government aid provided directly. This was their money that they had earned over the years, not a government hand-out.
“We put those payroll contributions there so as to give the contributors a legal, moral, and political right to collect their pensions and their unemployment benefits. With those taxes in there, no damn politician can ever scrap my social security program”
Those attempts to scrap social security by "damned" politicians haven't stopped -even today.


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