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Social Security's 70th Birthday Renews Republican Privatization Push

Thought President Bush’s Social Security Privatization Plan was dead? Think again! In the wake of significant Congressional victories such as the new energy bill and CAFTA, the President’s handlers are using Social Security’s 70th birthday to take another stab at private accounts. We can expect a new push this fall assuming issues like Iraq and Karl Rove don’t distract the President.
On Social Security’s 70th birthday today, we should be celebrating the spectacular success of this insurance program. Prior to its enactment in 1935, retirees and the disabled frequently lived in poverty. Social Security continues to be an important safety net for the least fortunate in society. It is not another 401k account to play the stock market. Wouldn’t it be nice to know you had this safety net if you live to be 90 and your nest egg has evaporated? As a Social Security lawyer, I think so.
Democrats and Republicans agree that private accounts do not solve the Social Security solvency problem. It’s a simple fact that people are living longer and Social Security will have to pay out more in the future. However, this fact leads me to conclude that we need the security of the Social Security program more than ever. Regardless, of your position on Social Security private accounts, we should all be grateful that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s foresight 70 years ago created a Social Security program that is the envy of the rest of the world. When I interview immigrant clients for Social Security Disability claims, they are overwhelmingly thankful that they moved to a country that does not let its citizens fall between the cracks. Let’s make sure we don’t tear down the security of Social Security by foisting private accounts on working class Americans. Happy Birthday, and many more, to Social Security!

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