Workin’ to 72

Making Bill Pascoe’s faux outrage even worse, Oberweis talked about wanting to privatize social security during the Trib forum.

“In return for being able to direct one quarter of the total payments into the special account, the individual would be giving up…the first, approximately six years of social security payments. It would move him from, say, 66 retirement to age 72 retirement.”

How does Pascoe refer to this privatization plan:

“To begin: the Foster ad falsely claims that Jim ’supported Bush’s scheme to privatize Social Security, gambling your retirement in the stock market.’ Bill Foster knows this isn’t true, because he sat next to Jim Oberweis yesterday in the Chicago Tribune’s editorial board endorsement session and heard Jim talk about his plan to strengthen Social Security, to make sure it’s still there 30 years from now.

Err…Oberweis has what is called a privatization plan–as CATO originally called it and, not only that, he wants to raise the age of retirement to 72!

3 Years Before Bush Ever Had a Plan for Social Security?

Pascoe below makes the claim:

“The on-screen sources listed for Mr. Foster’s ridiculous allegation are the Daily Herald of Feb. 17, 2002, and Jeff Berkowitz’s ‘Public Affairs’ show of Dec. 7, 2007. NOWHERE in the contents of EITHER source is there ANY indication that Jim Oberweis ‘supported Bush’s scheme to privatize Social Security’ — in fact, that would have been quite impossible, given that the Bush Administration DIDN’T EVEN OFFER A PLAN TO ADDRESS SOCIAL SECURITY’S LONG-TERM STABILITY UNTIL 2005, THREE YEARS AFTER THE FIRST SO-CALLED ‘SOURCE’ CITED!!!

Let’s start with when did Bush offer a plan to address Social Security Long-Term Stability:


Social Security has emerged as a critical issue in this year’s presidential campaign, but neither candidate seems prepared to address the system’s long-term financial problems. Instead, Gov. George W. Bush wants to let individuals invest a small part of their Social Security contributions in the stock market, where he thinks they will earn a better return, and Vice President Al Gore proposes to keep the system largely intact with an infusion of general tax revenues. Neither proposal would really stabilize the system in the long run. In truth, though Social Security is projected to become bankrupt in four decades, the system is not all that far out of kilter. It would not be hard for bold politicians to devise a fix.

Social Security may well be, as Governor Bush has said, “the single most successful government program in American history.” It was created in 1935, during the depths of the depression, to provide a guaranteed income to retired workers for as long as they live. Unlike private pension plans, Social Security benefits keep pace with inflation and, unlike 401(k)’s and other popular private plans, Social Security benefits do not fluctuate with stock and bond markets. Social Security provides the majority of income for most retirees and all the income for about a fifth of the elderly.

From its inception, the system has taken in payroll taxes from the working generation and turned almost all of them over to retirees. At the core of Social Security are the notions of social insurance — everyone participates in a common plan — and redistribution — the program tilts in favor of low-paid workers. The benefits for low-paid workers are about 80 percent of their average lifetime earnings, while benefits for high-paid workers are about 30 percent of average earnings. The progressive formula has cut the poverty rate among the elderly by two-thirds, reducing their poverty to below that of the general population. That is a remarkable triumph.

The question before voters is whether a program born out of depression — when poverty was rampant, few married women worked for pay and no one had 401(k)’s or I.R.A.’s to provide for retirement — needs to be revamped.

One reason for thinking so is the projected bankruptcy — a sobering but manageable situation. The system will run surpluses for the next 15 years, building a large reserve. But in 2010, the first wave of the baby boomers — the nearly 80 million people born between 1946 and 1964 — will begin to retire and collect retirement checks. The number of people in the work force for every retiree will fall from about five today to about three in only 30 years or so. That, and the fact that people are living longer, will put a strain on workers to support the retirement needs of the elderly. The system will begin to run deficits around 2015. By 2037, the trust fund is expected to be empty.

But for all the talk of bankruptcy, the system is not facing irreparable financial crisis. Even after 2037, payroll taxes will cover about 70 percent of promised benefits. Deficits over the next 75 years, the planning horizon for the program, will equal less than 2 percent of total payrolls — hardly a catastrophic shortfall. If the economy were to grow only slightly faster than the actuaries at the Social Security Administration now project, the deficit would disappear.

One proposed remedy for financial imbalance is partial privatization, the approach favored by Governor Bush. Under current law, workers and employers pay a 12.4 percent payroll tax that goes into a public trust fund. Under partial privatization, workers could divert, say, two percentage points of that tax to private accounts that the worker could then invest in stocks and bonds. Workers would collect less money from the trust fund when they retired, alleviating financial strain on the system. But they would expect to more than make up for the loss by drawing from their private accounts.

Mr. Bush’s sketchy proposal fails to answer where he would find the money to pay retirees as payroll taxes were diverted into private accounts. But there are other fundamental problems with the proposal as well.

New York Times, May 29, 2000

Hmmmmm….Pascoe has some issue with dates apparently.

But more interesting is there is a point here.  Just it makes Oberweis look worse:

Specifically, Oberweis believes workers should be allowed to invest half of the current 6.2 percent tax in a personal account. Cox supports a lower percentage but would not specify a percentage. Durkin also has not offered details about what kind of personal savings account plan he would support.

Chicago Daily Herald, February 17, 2002

Oberweis actually would have had larger private accounts than Bush at the time in 2002.

Perhaps Bill Pascoe should know something about his own candidate?

Daily Dolt: Phyllis Schafly

Lying twice wasn’t enough over at Illinois Review, they pulled in Phyllis Schlafly to lie a third time about the ERA and Social Security.

The passage Eaton and Schlafly are lying about is on page 206 in Sex Bias in the U.S. Code

Here is what they claim supports them on page 206:

“Congress and the President should direct their attention to the concept that pervades the Code: that the adult world is (and should be) divided into two classes – independent men, whose primary responsibility is to win bread for a family, and dependent women, whose primary responsibility is to care for children and household. This concept must be eliminated from the code if it is to reflect the equality principle.”

This, of course, is out of context given directly following this passage is:

Underlying the recommendations made in this report is the fundamental point that allocation of responsibilities within the family is a matter properly determined solely by the individuals involved.  Government should not steer individual decisions concerning household or breadwinning roles by casting the law’s weight on the side of (or against) a particular method of ordering private relationships.  Rather, a policy of strict neutrality should be pursued.  That policy should accomodate both traditional and innovative patterns.  At the same time, it should assure removal of artificial constraints so that women and men willing to explore their full potential as human beings may create new traditions by their actions.

I also cited page 45 and since Eaton and Schlafly continue their lie, let’s cut and paste pages 45 and 46 of the report.

1. Revise social security law to provide father’s benefits in all cases where mother’s benefits are provided under present law;

2. Eliminate the dependency requirement for husband’s or widower’s benefits;

3. Provide derivative social security benefits to divorced husbands;

4. Make the age 62 computation point applicable for men born prior to 1913;

5. Eliminate the 20-of-4O quarter work test required now to qualify for disability
benefits;

6. Establish an occupational definition of disability for workers 55 years and older;

7. Make eligibility for benefits available all disabled widows and disabled surviving divorced wives regardless of age, and make the benefits not subject to actuarial
reduction;

8. Provide benefits to disabled spouses of beneficiaries;

9. Define dependents to include relatives live in the home;

10. Reduce the duration of marriage requirement from 20 to 5 or 10 years for a divorced spouse to qualify for benefits on the basis of the wage-earner spouse’s earnings record, and remove the requirement of consecutive years of marriage. In the alternative, divorced wife’s right to receive benefits should be based on the economic relationship between the parties and not the length marriage;

11. Allow additional dropout years to relate benefits more to current earnings;

 12. Compute primary benefits and spoused benefits to increase the primary benefits for workers by approximately one-eighth, and reduce the spouse’s proportion from one-half to one-third, maintaining thereby the current total benefit of 15 percent for a couple while at the same time improving the protection for single workers, working couples, and surviving spouses; and

13. Amend the Social Security Act to eliminate separate references to men and women.

Phyllis Schlafley is lying and doing it badly.  When the report (it wasn’t a book by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, it was a report to The United States Commission on Civil Rights) was issued men did not receive the same survivor benefits women did.  That was changed not long after the report actually and as such, the lie at the center of this scare tactic was made moot nearly 30 years ago.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg wasn’t arguing that survivor and spouse benefits should be eliminated to make individuals more equal, she was arguing that men should receive the same benefits in the same situation.  The reason for this is that families should decide upon the proper roles within the family, not the government. The point was to increase liberty while still providing the same level of benefits–which is what the system has done over this time.

That Eaton and Schlafly would so boldly lie isn’t terribly surprising.  Schlafly is still touting unisex bathrooms. The issue is why does anyone give them any attention or space to print this crap other than on wingnut blogs.  Eaton took her lie to the Southtown Star and got it pubished presumably because it was an opinion piece. It was an opinion piece, it just had several facts supporting the claims wrong.  And not just wrong, but the opposite of her claims.

Daily Dolt: Fran Eaton, Lying Liar

Eaton tries to lie herself out yesterday’s lie. She claims the below proves that Ginsburg thought the ERA would eliminate survivor benefits for women who choose to stay home.

“Congress and the President should direct their attention to the concept that pervades the Code: that the adult world is (and should be) divided into two classes – independent men, whose primary responsibility is to win bread for a family, and dependent women, whose primary responsibility is to care for children and household. This concept must be eliminated from the code if it is to reflect the equality principle.”

Of course, this is directly contradicted by the text of page 45 in which the recommendations for Social Security changes include making the language gender neutral so that men and women have equal access to survivor benefits regardless who who works and who might stay at home.

But what is even more telling is how she uses the quote above that doesn’t even make the argument she claims it makes.  It talks about making the code gender neutral, not eliminating benefits for women who didn’t work outside the home.

What Fran cannot do is cite the next paragraph that demonstrates just how much of a liar Fran is:

Underlying the recommendations made in this report is the fundamental point that allocation of responsibilities within the family is a matter properly determined solely by the individuals involved.  Government should not steer individual decisions concerning household or breadwinning roles by casting the law’s weight on the side of (or against) a particular method of ordering private relationships.  Rather, a policy of strict neutrality should be pursued.  That policy should accomodate both traditional and innovative patterns.  At the same time, it should assure removal of artificial constraints so that women and men willing to explore their full potential as human beings may create new traditions by their actions.

Combine this with the recommendations on page 45 and what is clear is that Ginsburg argued for expanding benefits to widowers as well as widows, not to eliminate benefits to widows.

Why Eaton feels the need to lie about the report is beyond me, but she clearly did.  And the Southtown Star helped her in that endeavor.