Thursday, February 09, 2006

What the Citizens Want is Irrelevant

The public said no. Congress said no. But George W. Bush considers the democratic process an inconvenience to be eliminated. So forget all the citizens who wrote to their Congresspersons or spoke with them in person. George W. Bush doesn't care.

The Washington Post reported that Bush used the budget process to sneak Social Security privatization through the back door as early as 2010, despite the fact that there is time to deal with projected shortfalls about 25-30 years out. This deception and abuse of the budget process deserves rebuke. No president since Richard Nixon has so flagrantly defied the will of the people.

Note that even 25-30 years out, the system could still pay about 2/3 of its obligations. So it's not true that it would be bankrupt. But should Bush divert to private accounts the tax dollars specifically earmarked as set asides for Social Security, he'll assure and accelerate a crisis, which at this time is not imminent. And those who'll be left holding the bag are older Americans with little or no time to make up the shortfall. About half of older Americans depend entirely on Social Security. But Bush plans to divert Social Security revenues anyway.

It appears Bush has applied his "unitary" theory of one-branch government to the domestic front. The Congress, the public, and the courts, don't matter. But his way will be ruinous for those depending on Social Security. As reporter Alan Sloan says:

His plan would let people set up private accounts starting in 2010 and would divert more than $700 billion of Social Security tax revenues to pay for them over the first seven years.

That's a maneuver designed to force the collapse of the system.

Read the article here.