We must also tackle what is by far our greatest economic challenge — the reduction of budget deficits — a big part of which will involve reforming our major entitlement programs: Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
That means privatize and reduce benefits, an effort tried by Bush in 2005 that failed miserably in a rare political victory for the American people over capital. Nothing is beyond those dedicated to making Wall Street richer and the rest of us poorer. In Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan loves the idea.
Paul Craig Roberts sets the record straight.
Wall Street Targets the ElderlyBy PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
Hank Paulson, the Gold Sacks bankster/US Treasury Secretary, who deregulated the financial system, caused a world crisis that wrecked the prospects of foreign banks and governments, caused millions of Americans to lose retirement savings, homes, and jobs, and left taxpayers burdened with multi-trillions of dollars of new US debt, is still not in jail.
He is writing in the New York Times urging that the mess he caused be fixed by taking away from working Americans the Social Security and Medicare for which they have paid in earmarked taxes all their working lives.
Wall Street’s approach to the poor has always been to drive them deeper into the ground.
As there is no money to be made from the poor, Wall Street fleeces them by yanking away their entitlements. It has always been thus. During the Reagan administration, Wall Street decided to boost the values of its bond and stock portfolios by using Social Security revenues to lower budget deficits. Wall Street figured that lower deficits would mean lower interest rates and higher bond and stock prices.
Two Wall Street henchmen, Alan Greenspan and David Stockman, set up the Social Security raid in this way: The Carter administration had put Social Security in the black for the foreseeable future by establishing a schedule for future Social Security payroll tax increases. Greenspan and Stockman conspired to phase in the payroll tax increases earlier than was needed in order to gain surplus Social Security revenues that could be used to finance other government spending, thus reducing the budget deficit. They sold it to President Reagan as 'putting Social Security on a sound basis.'
Along the way Americans were told that the surplus revenues were going into a special Social Security trust fund at the U.S. Treasury. But what is in the fund is Treasury IOUs for the spent revenues. When the “trust funds” are needed to pay Social Security benefits, the Treasury will have to sell more debt in order to redeem the IOUs.
Social Security was mugged again during the Clinton administration when the Boskin Commission jimmied the Consumer Price Index in order to reduce the inflation adjustments that Social Security recipients receive, thus diverting money from Social Security retirees to other uses.
We constantly hear from Wall Street gangsters and from Republicans and an occasional Democrat that Social Security and Medicare are a form of welfare that we can’t afford, an 'unfunded liability.' This is a lie. Social Security is funded with an earmarked tax. People pay for Social Security and Medicare all their working lives. It is a pay-as-you-go system in which the taxes paid by those working fund those who are retired.
Currently these systems are not in deficit. The problem is that government is using earmarked revenues for other purposes. Indeed, since the 1980s Social Security revenues have been used to fund general government. Today Social Security revenues are being used to fund trillion dollar bailouts for Wall Street and to fund the Bush/Obama wars of aggression against Muslims.