North Texas Activists

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Lies Clutter the Landscape

On February 27, the Dallas daily ran an article that said Texans want Social Security fixed. The imlication was that they support the Bush Administration's plan to privatize Social Security. A closer reading shows, however, that people were asked if they wanted to insure that they still have Social Security in the long run. Certainly they do, but that's not an endorsement of the Bush plan to privatize. In fact, it's quite the opposite, because Bush's privatization risks the very existence of Social Security in the future.

The article also repeats one of Bush's more scandalous misrepresentations. It says, "...President Bush has proposed allowing workers to voluntarily divert 4 percent of their Social Security taxes into private accounts they control in exchange for smaller government benefits in the future."

It isn't 4 percent of Social Security taxes, it's 32 percent of the tax. It's 4 percent of the TOTAL WAGES!.

Actually, Bush usually says 2 percent. The reporter used "4 percent" to include the employer's matching contribution, but she was still far from the truth. Bush's trick works this way: People pay 6.2 percent of their wage into Social Security. The Bush plan would divert 2 of those percents, 32% of the total, into an investment scheme that would be partially controlled by the individual from a list of government-controlled options.

A careful reading will show that the headline and entire article are misleading, since they imply support for Bush's scheme that doesn't exist. The "4 percent of Social Security taxes into private accounts they control" is just a plain lie.


The AFL-CIO's e-news service, "Work in Progress" said this on February 28: ACTIVISTS SAY 'NO' TO PRIVATIZATION--Working families are gaining momentum in their campaign to strengthen Social Security in the face of President Bush's attempts to privatize the nation's most successful family protection program.

Last week, union activists used the Presidents' Day congressional recess to lobby lawmakers to turn back Bush's privatization scheme. Meanwhile, Robert Myers--a Republican who was the Social Security Administration's chief actuary from 1947 to 1970--came out against privatization. "I am completely opposed, now and forever," Myers told the newsletter "Congress Daily." "I don't think the program is broken," Myers said, countering Bush's claims of a Social Security "crisis."

Meanwhile, the Economic Policy Institute reported that removing the wealthy wage exemption from Social Security would virtually eliminate the funding gap the program faces over the next 75 years. Currently, only the first $90,000 of a worker's wages is subject to the Social Security payroll tax. For more information, visit . Outside Washington, D.C., activists are gearing up to introduce resolutions opposing Social Security privatization in state legislatures and county and municipal bodies.

Others are petitioning their elected officials at all levels to pledge to fix, not privatize, Social Security. Visit to download the petition. For fact sheets, fliers and more information about Social Security, go to

The facts are strong:

  • 1. Social Security is not in immediate danger

  • 2. Even if it were, privatization would not help

  • 3. Bush's "solution" would actually make our economic situation, especially the deficit, much worse

  • 4. There are many simple methods to get more funds into Social Security when needed. Privatization is not "the only solution;" it isn't a solution at all!

The AFL-CIO petition is at For a printable version in Word format, contact me.

Please attend a Social Security meeting with Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson at 2 PM Friday, March 4, at 1408 N Washington.