Social Security is not in danger, yet Wall Street says it is doomed. Why? Wall Street wants us to give Social Security up. They want to use our Social Security money to pump up the stock market. They want to slash our kids' retirements. They want to charge us almost a trillion dollars in fees. They want to use Social Security to pay for even more war and tax cuts for the rich.

More than 47 million retired workers, disabled workers, their families, and children of workers who die depend on Social Security. For 70 years, it has operated efficiently and reliably. It is not a private investment account. It is based on the idea that we take care of each other, that we protect each other from living and dying in poverty. It is the most sucessful benefit program in history. x

Social Security is there for us and our children. It has more than 1.5 trillion dollars in its Trust Fund. There will be $6.7 trillion in 2028. These funds are in US Treasury Bonds. There has never been a default on Treasury Bonds, and there would be serious consequences to do it now. The Congressional Budget Office agrees that Social Security can pay today's benefits until 2050, and can pay 80% of benefits after that. Today's benefits could continue to 2079 if those with more than $90,000 a year paid their share. Continuing Bush's tax cuts to corporations and the rich would cost three to five times as much as continuing Social Security. Why isn't Wall Street worried about that? x

If Wall Street has its way, our children will be cheated five ways:

1. Our children would get lower retirement benefits. If they retire 50 years from now, their retirement benefits would be cut 40%. This is separate from the plan for private accounts. x

2. Our children's retirements would be at risk. If the market is down when our children retire, they'd just be out of luck, because the money they took to gamble on Wall Street will have come from their guaranteed benefits. And because the government would charge 3% interest on the money taken from Social Security, their private accounts would have to make 3% above inflation just to break even. Remember, from 1999 to 2003, the 401(k) accounts of people near retirement dropped 25% in value.

3. Our children would have to repay trillions dollars in start-up costs. Bush promises to pay full benefits for people in or near retirement, but younger workers would be diverting 1/3 of their Social Security tax money into private accounts. To do this would require borrowing $2 trillion over the next ten years, and $15 trillion over the next forty years.

4. Our children would have to pay huge financial management fees. They would be 20-30 times Social Security's operating costs, and would total more than $900 billion over the next 75 years. Those fees would come from our kids' income.

5. Our children's "personal accounts" would not give financial freedom. Government would choose which investment companies manage the accounts. When our kids retire, they'd have to use their "personal accounts" to buy an annuity paying a poverty-level income and with a high management fee. If anything is left over, they could keep it.

Wall Street wants our money to solve the problems that they created. The US owes trillions to China and Japan for covering deficits caused by corporate tax cuts and the Iraq war. The US pays $55 billion each month for imported goods, because Wall Street moved manufacturing off-shore for cheap labor. This is making the dollar fall. Now they're raising interest rates to keep up foreign investment, but this will reduce growth and cost jobs. Wall Street's policies have endangered the economy, and now they want to use our Social Security to bail themselves out. No way! x

Social Security began in 1935 because of strikes and street demonstrations by millions of working people who lost everything in the 1929 stock market crash and the Great Depression. Many older people were left in poverty because their stock market funds evaporated. This is the very system that Wall Street and the Bush administration wants us to return to. We won't go back there!

Join us ! Strengthen Social Security
for Future Generations…Not Wall Street!

Hands Off Social Security:
SF, 415-215-7575, mlyon01@comcast.net
East Bay, 510-548-9696, GrayPanthersBerk@aol.com


The Social Security System was won by the struggle of millions in 1935, the middle of the Great Depression, where millions lost their jobs and millions more lost their life savings in bank failures. Over half of America's elderly lacked sufficient income to be self-supporting.

Through massive strikes and demonstrations workers and their families formed a movement that challenged the power of the government, forcing it to enact Social Security, Unemployment Insurance, the right to unions and other deep reforms, which business and government are now trying to take back.