08-09-23-Michael Lyon, Jodi Reid- GP resolution on Social Security for 2008 CARA convention.doc



Resolution against Efforts to Privatize Social Security, Pensions, Medicare and Medicaid


Whereas the recent financial meltdown shows the danger of having retirement income come from market-based accounts, and particularly individual market-based accounts; and


Whereas powerful policy-setting think tanks, liberal and conservative alike, are responding to the coming wave of retirees by calling for strong measures limiting future spending on Social Security, Medicare, and  Medicaid; and


Whereas policy-setting think tanks, both liberal and conservative, agree on automatically  enrolling employees into market-based Individual Retirement Accounts, as the way to provide retirement income and  stimulate the economy; and


Whereas research by the National Institute on Retirement Security shows that defined benefit retirement pensions would cost companies 46% less than an equivalent benefit from individual retirement accounts based on the stock market; and finally


Whereas the same government that wanted to privatize Social Security, calling its Trust Fund “worthless IOUs”, now proposes an unsupervised $700 billion bailout of the richest financial institutions bankrupted by their leveraging truly worthless sub-prime mortgages.


Therefore, Be It Resolved that CARA will keep a close watch for any moves by government that could be stealth privatization of Social Security,  reduction in its benefits, or formation of commissions to cap spending on Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid, and oppose all moves to shift retirement income away from collective, guaranteed-income sources, both Social Security and Defined-Benefit pensions, and into individual market-based accounts, funded by either diversion of payroll taxes or auto-enrollment into private market-based accounts on top of Social Security; and


Be It Further Resolved, that CARA demands the government use its new-found fund-raising powers to put Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid on a solid financial footing, by taxing the wealth taken from working people since the 1990s financial deregulation.



Submitted by Michael Lyon

ON behalf of the SF Gray Panthers

Sept. 24, 2008