SOCIAL SECURITY – Overview
The Count Dracula Syndrome Coordinator
In the Spring of 2005, the Bush proposal to privatize Social Security was in full swing, round one, and the fight to keep it public was equally well engaged. HELADA drew on a variety of resources and mounted a fairly thorough discussion of why privatization was a bad idea.
The GOP, despite a majority in Congress, could not get the plan passed. Our sources stateside said it was tantemount to being passed, as young professionals believed the rhetoric and anticipated its eventual success. They opened additional 401k plans and socked extra cash into the stock market. The shot in the arm for the market was accomplished with nary a law being passed.
The privatization effort went silent, and some HELADA members suggested it was dead and should be removed from our website. Some other members said it was only sleeping and we'd see it soon enough again.
And so we did! In 2007, Bush came back with a new permutation, 'progressive indexation.' It met a fate similar to the earlier version. Since 2008, many have breathed a collective (no pun intended) sigh of relief. No one expects Obama to try to privatize. However, the need to temporarily nationalize a few banks and auto companies, stimulate a crashed economy, and carry on a few neocon wars here and there, will continue the drain on Social Security coffers.
Whatever is suggested to remedy, and even improve, the system needs thorough public understanding and good background information. With that in mind, we've kept our 2005 reports and 2007 updates, as well as links to outside sites where the next round of discussion is likely to occur. -KL
2005-2007 HELADA reports
2005 Full Report Jan 2005, rev Feb 2007
2005 Social Security abroad, April 2005, US Embassy 'townhall meeting'
2005 What GWB's Proposals Will Do to Your Retirement, May 2005, Center for American Progress
2007 'Nightmare on Alms St', excerpt and link from TomPaine.org
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