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Social Security

Friday, April 29th, 2005 · No Comments

If one thing can be learned from Bush’s attempt to dismantle social security, it is this: Get out of debt, save more, invest more. In other words, don’t count on the federal government to look out for you when you’re ready to retire. In his speech last night, Bush tried to put himself in the group of people who actually depend on Social Security to live (how ironic): “A generation of baby boomers is getting ready to retire. I happen to be one of them.” He may be a boomer, but he’s the last person who would ever need to draw Social Security benefits. Later, when a reporter asked if Dick Cheney would benefit less under the proposed system since he’s loaded, Bush got defensive: “Q — where a rich person, say, Dick Cheney, wouldn’t get much out of it?

“THE PRESIDENT: Now, wait a minute, don’t get personal here, Hutch. You’re on national TV; that’s a cheap shot.”

How’s it a “cheap shot” to talk about the facts? Maybe that was just hitting too close to home because Bush knows that — as with tax cuts — the mega-rich club (he, Cheney, his entire cabinet) will benefit the most from diverting Social Security dollars into the stock market from which he and his cronies reap hundreds of millions of dollars.

Unmasking Bush’s plan:

He talks about his “crisis,” his “private accounts” and his faith in Wall Street traders to make everything right. But he does not listen to the evidence that his approach will not work, and he does not respond to the expressions of concern from the American people.

I’m all for investing on a personal basis, but I’m suspicious of putting too much faith in the market. What’s good about Social Security is that it works. Sure, it may and will run out, which brings me back to my original point: Get out of debt and save your money. Even if you’re deep in debt, it’s important to save or invest just a little every month. And do it now. It’s never too late. It’s more important to get in the habit of investing and do so regularly than it is to invest a lot. There’s no such thing as not being able to afford to invest. If you work, you can invest. Even if it’s just $10, $25, or $100 per month. Cut back on something to save for your future.

Don’t count on federal money.

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Tags: politics