The privatization of Social Security was big news last year here, on many other blogs and in the mainstream media. President Bush spent almost more time on the road stumping for his pet plan to enrich Wall Street at the expense of Social Security recipients than at his Crawford ranch - and that’s hard to do.
After dozens of presidential, arm-twisting speeches to carefully-selected crowds of supporters only, the people of the United States rejected privatization in resounding numbers. But when this president doesn’t get what he wants, he goes stealth.
This week, Washington Post/Newsweek columnist, Allan Sloan, reported that buried deep on page 321 in the president’s 2007 budget, which he submitted to Congress on Monday, is another Social Security privatization proposal:
“His plan would let people set up private accounts starting in 2010,” write Sloan, “and would divert more than $700 billion of Social Security tax revenues to pay for them over the first seven years…"
- - Newsweek (online), 8 February 2006
There is no legislation for this proposal, so it is unclear how it could come to be. Would passage of the budget by Congress, with this plan included, make it law? I have no idea. I’ve sent off a note to Mr. Sloan asking for clarification and await a response.
In his State of the Union address last week, the president called only for a bipartisan commission to study Social Security reform (as if we need another study to add to the hundreds in existence).
There was no mention of this budget item in the speech, nor is it included in the highlights of the budget posted on the White House website, which makes its inclusion in the 2007 budget sound remarkably like those earmarks for pork projects our representatives sneak into other legislation in the dead of night.
Is there not a single elected official who plays straight with the people of the United States? It would be a good idea for all of us to alert our representatives in Congress that the country has already rejected privatization of Social Security and this sneak attack by the president is unacceptable.