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« Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 30 -- Environment and Economy. | WILLisms.com | Tonight's Press Conference. »

Imagine If Social Security Didn't Exist.

Americans United to Protect Social Security, a left-wing umbrella interest group spearheaded by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the AFL-CIO, MoveOn.org, ProtectYourCheck.org (headed by Clintonites Harold Ickes and Jim Jordan), the Campaign for America's Future and USAction, and another 200-odd interest groups, has an online ad on Social Security:


It includes, predictably, flawed statistics and a completely frivolous reference to Ken Lay and Enron:


Just above the ad, it says:

If The Bush Privatization Plan Was Being Sold on the Open Market, It Would Be Illegal

Oh, yeah?

We argued precisely the opposite back in January:

If Social Security were a private program, there is little doubt that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission would be investigating its accounting practices. If the Social Security Administration were a corporation, zealous Attorneys General such as Eliot Spitzer would have filed charges long ago in courtrooms around the country.

Think about it.

The goals of Social Security are just. Reducing the rampant poverty of America's elderly is something everyone can get behind. The only problem: Social Security, in its current form, is a pyramid scheme. Social Security, in its current form, is also unsustainable and insolvent. The guaranteed course of action without reform is that millions of Americans who depend on Social Security will slip below the poverty line; Social Security, without reform, faces mandatory and drastic benefit cuts. Thus, the very aim of Social Security is undermined by the way it is designed. Its slave-to-demographics pyramid scheme structure simply means that it cannot continue achieving the noble goals of Social Security.

Imagine if there were no Social Security program in 2005. Is there really any way it, in its current form, would pass the smell test?

Can you imagine someone proposing a system in which the government takes roughly 1/8 of your money, then writes an IOU to itself, spending your retirement money on whatever it feels is important at the time?

Can you imagine trying to convince people that it doesn't matter that there will be fewer and fewer workers paying for more and more retirees? Imagine trying to sell a program so financially unsound that it would see its taxes more than sextuple over half a century just to keep it from going under. Imagine trying to explain to people that your tax does not really go into an account with your name on it and that the Supreme Court would rule (in Flemming V. Nestor, 363 U.S. 603, 610–11 (1960)) that, even if you've paid into the system your entire life, you actually have no right to collect benefits. Imagine trying to sell a program that gives people no meaningful choices. Think about how absurd this program would sound.

Can you really imagine Social Security, in its current form, gaining any kind of political support, let alone the thumbs up from economists?

Thus, for AUPSS to claim that Bush's reform plan would be illegal if sold on the open market is the epitome of absurdity, but it does offer a glimpse into the true nature of the opposition to reform. Reform, to these groups, should be illegal, because it favors the free enterprise system over the welfare state.

The AUPSS site also allows you to calculate, using the exact same calculator FactCheck.org debunked, just how much they want you to believe you would lose under the President's plan.

There's a link at the bottom of the rigged calculator that says:

Click here for details on how this calculator works.

It takes you to this page:


Clearly, Americans United to Protect Social Security doesn't want you to know that its calculator has been so thoroughly ripped apart by objective analysis.

Eschewing all pretense of non-partisanship, AUPSS urges its visitors:

Sign up for updates from House Democrats and stay informed on Social Security.


Entirely shameful.

But oh-so typical.

Posted by Will Franklin · 28 April 2005 03:56 PM


OH! MY! GOSH!...I think WILLisms.com has found the lamest of the poor pitiful lame anti-Bush advertisments I believe I have ever seen!... Bless their hearts,they just don't have a lame leg to stand on! HA HA! ...So now when is WILLisms.com going to have the lamest contest? That little cartoon would certainly be a good candidate!

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at April 28, 2005 05:18 PM

Isn't it true that Ken Lay visited the White House quite a bit when Clinton was in office?...I thought Ken Lay and Bill Clinton were golf buddies?...They are really reaching!...KEEP GOING.

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at April 28, 2005 05:33 PM