Friday, February 11, 2005

Blacks & Social Security

I found this article on social security from the Washington Post. President Bush has made social security reform a part of his agenda. He stated this as a goal in the state of the union.

However, in this article he's courting black support for his social security agenda. As seeming to be a pattern right now, President Bush is meeting opposition not from individual blacks but by the "black leadership".

Jesse Jackson says:

"This move on Social Security is really an attack on Roosevelt...It reflects the extreme right-wing ideology that says there should be no roof for the wealthy and no floor for the poor."

The vice president of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Maya Roceymoore also chimes in:

"Any financial planner will tell you that retirement should rest on a three-legged stool: pensions, savings and Social Security...The only secure leg of that stool is Social Security. But if you move to private accounts and something happens to the stock market, you have a collapsed retirement stool."
Of course this article at least mentions a very low level example outside of the black activists. Robert McFadden from Medford, NJ describes how his father paid Social Security taxes for 30 year but died at age 57. McFadden's sisters and brothers were too old to collect survivor benefits and his stepmother is likely to qualify for a higher SS payment than Mr. McFadden's father.

Robert McFadden says:

"When my father passed, his Social Security passed with him,"

"Some people say this idea will only help people with certain lifestyles and certain incomes, but I challenge that...I see seniors in my church right now who cannot even live off of what they are getting from Social Security. I think the idea of taking a small portion of your taxes and creating personal accounts in minimal-risk investments will teach people who don't save the concept thatcompounding interest over years provides an opportunity to increase their family's wealth."

You've got the activists claiming this is an attack on a late President's memory, that there will be increasing disparities with Social Security privatization, and then you've got a person who's not an activist who sees how unfair social security is to so many in his community. Can one see who is truly out of touch?

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