Pulitzer Prize-winning L.A. Times columnist Michael A. Hiltzik takes on the Bush Administration’s plan for “reforming” Social Security in an important and enlightening book that every American citizen should read. Hiltzik dissects the Bush plan to privatize Social Security by first taking on the biggest piece of misinformation surrounding the social program– that Social Security is on the verge of bankruptcy.
Not so, says Hiltzik, with plenty of facts and figures to back up his claim. The Plot Against Social Security shows that the program is in relative good health, and that the only real threat comes from the Bush plan to divert huge portions of the program’s assets into private accounts, putting every participating American at financial risk and undermining retirement security for generations to come.
By fully documenting the “privatization” lobby’s direct ties to brokerage and insurance firms, the author shows how the only real beneficiaries of a reformed Social Security system will be these industries and their boards of executives, not average Americans hoping to see their retirement dollars work harder for them. The fallacies behind the Bush push for privatization are laid out in full here, and the author succeeds at explaining the way the program is currently funded, and how the Bush administration would change that, in terms that the average reader can comprehend.
Hiltzik even debunks the many current myths about Social Security which are being parroted in the press and by an uneducated public, including the many doomsayers’ claims that the entire system will be bankrupt and that the trust fund is worthless and has no real monetary value. Instead, the author examines the program as it is now, and even offers real solutions to fix the problems that do exist, without the drastic measures being touted by the Bush administration and the Republican right’s attempt to fully dismantle any and all social programs.
The Plot Against Social Security is a must-read for any American who thinks they will one day receive what they have worked hard for, because with the current political threat, retirement security may become a thing of the past unless more and more Americans truly understand exactly how the system works, and what their current president would really like to do to it. There are other options for fixing what ails Social Security. But for Bush and the powerful brokerage and insurance lobbies that helped finance both his presidential campaigns, the only option they find acceptable is to end the program altogether by destroying its true intent and purpose, and instead turning it into just another money-making scheme for a handful of CEO’s who already make millions while the rest of the public struggles to make ends meet.