We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore LappĂ©, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Friday, January 11, 2013

Was the Misuse of Social Security Money Pre-planned?

Click here to access article by Allen W. Smith from Dissident Voice.
Allen W. Smith has devoted much of his adult life to battling economic illiteracy and promoting economic education. He taught economics to college students for 30 years before retiring as Professor of Economics at Eastern Illinois University in 1998 to become a full-time writer.
This retired professor is a hero of mine for dedicating his academic life to educating Americans on the realities of economics, most valuable of which has been in relation to the so-called Social Security Trust Fund. I only discovered his writing about two years ago on Dissident Voice, but he has been trying to report on the Social Security scam for the past 12 years. My discovery has raised two questions in my mind: why did it take so long to hear about his revelations? And, why haven't others--there must have been many others who knew--reported on this hoax?

(Note: If you are new to this issue, you may not grasp everything he says in this article. Thus, I refer you to my commentary in a recent posting of mine for more information. I also refer you to an excellent essay on this subject by James Petras.)

In this piece Smith reports on his recent discovery of looting of Social Security funds by the Reagan administration to offset tax cuts for the rich. In reference to the title of this article, he argues that this and subsequent actions to pilfer Social Security funds were pre-planned--although I doubt that Reagan was astute enough to know what the reality was. I think that this third-rate actor was just mindlessly following orders from his One Percent handlers.
Why would Reagan create mass fear among the American people? He needed the surplus money that the Social Security tax increase would put within his reach. He needed the money to replace the revenue lost from his big tax cuts for the rich. The rich would get to keep their big tax cuts. But every worker in the country would have to pay higher Social Security payroll taxes.
Once you understand this ruling class scam, it all becomes clear as to the reasons for the current all-out attacks on Social Security and Medicare programs. Because of retiring post-war baby boomers, Social Security has in recent years started running a negative cash flow, which means that receipts from payroll taxes are less that payouts to existing retirees. Because past Social Security funding was stolen by the One Percent ruling class to fund their wars and offset their tax reductions, there are no savings in the fund to draw on. Benefits must now be paid out of general tax revenues. You see the dilemma that our ruling class faces? They have been robbing our retirement piggy bank for years; and like any compulsive thief, they don't want to pay us back. So, you say, what else is new? Ruling classes have been robbing working people from the very beginning of class rule 10,000 years ago.

At his point, if you haven't already, I suggest you read this article before reading the balance of my comments which gives you more background on Allen Smith's heroic efforts on behalf of the 99 Percent. This is an excerpt from his website.
            I began doing research on the federal budget in late 1999.  That research led to the publication of my book, The Alleged Budget Surplus, Social Security, and Voodoo Economics, in 2000.  It was while doing research for this book that I made an unexpected, and very troubling, discovery.  I discovered the ongoing fraudulent government practice of spending the Social Security surplus revenue on other government programs.  At first, I couldn’t believe my findings.  The elected officials of the United States government surely would not spend the Social Security contributions of American workers on other government programs without either the knowledge or permission of those workers.  But, the more I researched the subject, the clearer it became that the government had done, and was continuing to do, exactly that.

            I was outraged, and I wanted to tell the whole world so they would be outraged too.  But nobody wanted to listen.  It just didn’t seem credible that our own government, both Democrats and Republicans, would engage in such fraud against the American people.

             As part of my efforts to alert the public, I began sending material to candidate Al Gore in early 2000. I sent him advance copies of my book, research findings, and several letters.  I urged Gore to put distance between himself and Clinton on Social Security and take a stand against the continued use of Social Security money for non-Social Security purposes.  I used multiple channels of commun-ication in sending the material to Gore in order to be sure that at least some of it got to him.

            I cannot be sure that I was the source of Gore’s idea to propose the Social Security lockbox, and to make the raiding of the trust fund a major campaign issue.  However, the important point is that Gore did take a stand against the continued raiding of the trust fund, which resulted in George W. Bush taking a similar stand.  Thus, during the 2000 campaign, both Gore and Bush entered into a new covenant with the American people on how Social Security revenue would be treated in the future.  They both acknowledged that the trust fund had been raided in the past and pledged to end the raiding.

            With both candidates making such a pledge, it appeared that no matter who won the 2000 election, the days of using Social Security money for non-Social Security purposes were over.  But that was not the case.  We will never know whether or not Al Gore would have honored his promise to protect Social Security if he had become president.  But we do know that George W. Bush did not honor his promise.  He continued to raid the Social Security trust fund just like his father, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton had been doing for years.