President Bush has announced plans to "reform" social security by essentially privatizing the system. The administration would have us believe that our current system is flawed beyond repair, and that the best way to help working people to save for retirement is to have them place their money into private funds managed by private firms.
Protect working families and our retirement safety net!
But here's the reality: Social Security is not facing an imminent crisis, and is not in danger of running out of money anytime soon. (The Social Security Administration estimates the trust fund will last until 2042; many economists estimate the fund will last much longer.) Also, privatization will cost a lot - and working families will be the ones who pay.
Social Security spends 1 percent of its money on administration. But administrative costs for private insurance range between 12 and 14 percent, according to the American Council of Life Insurance. In Chile, which instituted a system of mandatory private savings accounts in the early 1980s, administrative costs exceed 20 percent. This is your money, going straight into the pockets of Wall Street.
Medicare's administrative costs (2 percent) are much lower than those of private health insurance systems (8 to15 percent, according to most estimates). And the Medicare program has shown its ability to lower costs through anti-fraud and waste activities. We need to strengthen our security and our health care protections, not increase costs by making Wall Street richer.
Tell Congress today - we want to strengthen and protect our current Social Security system! We need health care for all and protections for working families, not more money for bankers and insurance companies.
I am writing to express my concern over President Bush's plan to privatize Social Security. This administration's attempt at "reform" will only hurt working families, and will cost the American taxpayers much more in the long run that strengthening our current system.
Social Security is a sound system that has provided for American workers for over 60 years, and will be able to meet 100% of its obligations for the next 39 years. With responsible changes, we can ensure that Social Security and Medicare will be there for all American workers and their families into the future.
But privatization will dramatically increase administrative costs, with no guarantee of better benefits for workers. Privatization will only be better for insurance companies, banks, and Wall Street.
[Your comments - Why is strengthening Social Security important to you?]
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