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Bush’s Retirement Plan

Posted by Rick · January 16th, 2005 · 2 Comments

Social Security is going down the tubes unless its privatized. You know this because, although the experts say otherwise, the Bush Administration — for whom everything it wants becomes necessary because of “crisis” — keeps repeating it like its a mantra.

What you probably didn’t know is that many people believe Bush is working overtime to ensure the failure of the Social Security program. For example, the Social Security Administration is being forced by the Bush Administration to spend their money to convince you that they’re going down the tubes.

Over the objections of many of its own employees, the Social Security Administration is gearing up for a major effort to publicize the financial problems of Social Security and to convince the public that private accounts are needed as part of any solution.

But seriously, folks, why would the Bush Administration lie about something like this? After all, by their own estimation, privatizing the system is going to cost the government trillions of dollars. Why would Bush, who has promised to do what only Democrats have been able to do so far — balance the Federal budget and eliminate deficits — push a program that’s going to blow his chances of keeping any other campaign promises unless it were true? Think about it: If privatizing means that the Administration will be unable to support the military (which it does), unable to continue cutting taxes (which it does), unable to support education (which it does) or just about anything else, and — most importantly — unable to be the first Republican ever to balance the budget as he has promised — because the government will be nearly bankrupt (which it will be), then why would Bush push it, if it weren’t absolutely necessary?

In a word: Money.

According to a report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) published in January 1999,

Because of the AFPs’ commissions and fees, the very high rates of return of Chilean pension funds — averaging 12.7 percent in real terms between 1981 and 1995 — have not yielded equally high rates of return for account holders. According to some estimates, Chilean workers who invested their money in an AFP in 1981 have received an internal rate of return of 7.4 percent on that investment through 1995…. Because of the front-loaded fee structure, realizing substantial returns takes time: a worker who joined the private pension system in 1986 received an internal rate of return of 1.6 percent through 1991 and 6.6 percent through 1995. Some analysts have also calculated, however, that the total costs of the new system are 42 percent lower than the average costs of the old pay-as-you-go system, which was highly inefficient. Walliser and Becker, “Chapter 2: The Privatization of Pensions in Chile” from “Social Security Privatization: Experiences Abroad” (January 1999) Congressional Budget Office

In other words, for simply managing the pension funds, private companies in Chile “earned” 5.3 percent, while the workers whose money was being used earned 7.4 percent. Not bad, eh? Multiply that out times the number of workers who will ultimately need to retire — hundreds of millions! — and that’s a pretty “penny” that private corporations get to pocket. And they don’t have to spend a dime of their own money to do it!

The Center for Economic and Policy Research says that privatization of Argentina’s social security program is directly to blame for “economic collapse” and is called “a serious and costly error.”

If Bush has shown us nothing else, he has shown his willingness to support Big Business. From the Corporate Welfare System that pays them huge subsidies to the Huge Tax Cuts that benefit their Owners to the No-Bid Contracts his friends receive in wars (which some people also think he started for profit), Bush is nothing if not a Corporate Man.

In this age of multi-national corporations who have no concern for whether their policies wreak destruction on America — witness Walmart’s willingness to force itself on communities — Bush is a real-life Manchurian Candidate. And ever true to the original, there’s reason to believe that he is weakening the United States at the behest of east Asian countries: these countries currently account for 70% of our global foreign exchange reserves (to know how quickly that’s rising, that’s compared to 30% in 1990 and 21% during the early 1970s). In the 17-months prior to Bush’s re-election, China bought another $96 billion in U.S. government securities, while Japan bought a mere $50 billion. What happens when the U.S. government — bankrupted by the Bush Administration — cannot pay the debt on these securities?

For individuals, privatization — which will almost certainly lead to the collapse of the Social Security system, if not the dollar — is even worse. Currently, the total percentage of Americans between the ages of 65 and 69 living below the poverty line is 6.6%; those 70 to 74 years old, 7.9%; people 75 to 79, 8.6%. The total of all persons in all age groups is 8.5%. But without Social Security? According to the Social Security Administration, without Social Security benefits, those numbers are 36.9%, 44.8%, 54% and 48.1% respectively.

The Social Security office doesn’t provide information on how many of them are named “Bush.”

The fact is that as recently as February 2003, the world’s experts on economics — 450 from the United States alone, including the winner of the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences and another Nobel laureate in economics — have indicated that Bush’s policies would worsen the economic situation of the United States. If they’re right, there’s little reason to believe that Bush’s plan for the economic salvation of the Social Security system is any better.

On the other hand, these are only hundreds of experts on economics. And while Bush has not ever won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, he did run several companies before becoming President. In 1985, for example, a disclosure indicated that friends and others who invested money with him got back 45 cents for every dollar invested. That’s a loss of only 65 cents for every dollar invested. In 1986 and 1988, the President borrowed money from Harken Energy Corporation — in the kind of deal he now condemns as corporate abuse and fraud — and used it to buy shares in Harken.

The issue of corporate loans became a hot topic and a focus of Bush’s ire after WorldCom Group, which is under investigation by federal regulators after reporting $3.8 billion in expenses improperly, revealed it loaned former CEO Bernard Ebbers $400 million to buy company stock.

“I challenge compensation committees to put an end to all company loans to corporate officers,” Bush said in his Wall Street speech Tuesday on corporate responsibility. Unattributed Story, “Bush” Don’t do as I did” (July 11, 2002) CNN Money.

Bush does, indeed, have friends in high places — and I’m not referring to his days as a cocaine user!

Ultimately, George Bush was “cleared” of any wrongdoing after selling his Harken shares just before their Enron-accounting practices were made public, at which point their shares tanked.

Of course, by then, the SEC — like the Social Security Administration which is getting ready to advertise the need for its demise, which will not come naturally and so must be forced — was under the control of the same man who so ably ran Spectrum 7.

I have no doubts at all that he’ll fix Social Security.

The fact of the matter is that George W. Bush was always a failure as a businessman. He has a kind of reverse Midas touch; all the gold he touches disappears. Usually, it winds up in some corporate pockets. After a trip to the laundry — voilà — the failed businessman is rich!

So now you know why Social Security must be privatized: It’s part of the retirement plan for George Bush — who couldn’t earn a legitimate dime to save his life.

Categories: The Bush Regime


2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Lee A. Paquet // Feb 3, 2005 at 5:15 pm

    You’re a little off the beat when you say that only Democrats balanced the budget. It’s true that Bill Clinton was a democrat president when the budget was balanced, but it was a REPUBLICAN majority in the Congress who forced him to balance it. He fought it as hard as he could, but in the end, the Republicans won.

  • 2 Rick Horowitz // Feb 3, 2005 at 5:56 pm

    Uh, right…

    …and I bought a bridge in Arizona with the tax rebate President Bush graciously (but with dogged determination) pushed through for me.

    Afterwards, I had buyer’s remorse. You interested?

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