NEWS OF: 8/13/2006

Social Security: Last to Fall

Allowing very wealthy people to manage the future of Social Security is like asking the Pope to teach high school seniors the finer points of condom use.
social security fund projections

George Bush has never waited nor wanted for anything. Save for the live intern thrown into his cage once a month, neither has Dick Cheney.

Social Security is not about to collapse. In fact, Administrations for years have cheerfully double dipped — raiding Social Security for every budget shortfall — while loudly proclaiming that the system was “running out of money” because of all the people receiving Social Security. Not so.

First, Social Security funds should be untouchable. Need a $13,000 water fountain for the Pentagon? Try a bake sale. Second, let’s create real stewardship of the fund: a bipartisan, multi-ethnic, multi-age consortium of individuals who aren’t millionaires. Real people, not a bunch of tittering financial neocons playing Dungeons and Dragons with your grandmother’s future. Or trading your children’s college education for “democracy in Syria.”

Because the Bush dream of privatizing Social Security will result in the system running out of funds. It’s just another failed Bush business plan. The only pie into which several Republican fingers have not been crammed up to the knuckles… But despite overwhelming voter rejection? The Bush administration is determined to go ahead with the plan after the 2006 elections — that is, when it is as far as possible from the next time they would have to face the American voters.

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NEWS OF: 2/16/2006

Bush Budget: A Tsunami of Elderly Homeless

The Bush Administration FY 2007 budget includes a plan to privatize social security and the price to do so is a whopping $712 billion dollars to begin with — an amount that will increase over time.This means that taxpayers would pay over $700 billion in taxes just to privatize the Social Security program and cut their future guaranteed Social Security benefit. Let’s stop and think about this. You’d be paying $700 billion dollars to create a system that would pay you even less once it was in place.
The Bush budget actually also eliminates the $255 death benefit provided by Social Security to the families of those who die. The amount of money is not much, but it’s there to help families bury their loved ones. Mike Michaud outlines why the budget is bad for Mainers.

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NEWS OF: 7/8/2005

The Impact of President Bush’s Social Security Proposal in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District

There’s no getting around it, Social Security privatization (1.) reduces guaranteed benefits and (2.) takes money out of the system according to a new report asserting that 62% of the 275,000 workers Maine’s Second District would face significant benefit cuts. Workers between the ages of 35 and 55 would experience average benefit cuts of $1,225 per year, while those younger would lose $2,770 annually. 71% of these cuts would come from middle-class Mainers. See Mike Michaud or download the pdf version of the report.

NEWS OF: 6/8/2005

Remember Retirement?

U.S. Representative Tom Allen will hold an “Online Town Hall” from noon to 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 14th to answer constituents’ questions live over the internet about proposals to privatize Social Security. Here’s the link to get in

NEWS OF: 5/19/2005

Say Bye-Bye to Disability & Survivor Benefits

VIEW ALL: Social Security

Allan Hubbard, Chairman of the National Economic Council, has suggested that not only would the President’s Social Security privatization plan cut retiree benefits, but would cut survivor and disability benefits. This is not well publicized, but in Maine alone it would impact 33,000 people currently depending on survivor benefits, and another 54,000 receiving disability benefits. See Mike Michaud

NEWS OF: 5/3/2005

Goodbye Peace Train, Hello Truth Truck

VIEW ALL: Social Security

Organized by the Alliance for Retired Americans, the Social Security Truth Truck Tour is a multi-state roadshow that includes a plain-looking flatbed sporting 1.3 million signatures - 17,000 from Mainers. They travel to congressional districts seen as pivotal in stopping the Bush administration plan to “revamp” social security by creating a private account system that would result in a 40% benefit cut for the average taxpayer. See Bangor News

NEWS OF: 4/25/2005

73% of Mainer’s Opposed to Privatizing Social Security

A poll released by “Americans United to Protect Social Security” indicates 73% of Mainers participating in a recent poll were opposed to Bush administration plans for privatizing Social Security. A follow-up question indicated 74% of those asked would be less likely to vote for their Maine senator if she were to support the president’s proposal.

The poll was conducted by Dewey Hub, on behalf of Americans United, and included a sample of 600 randomly selected Maine registered voters. The automated poll, which was conducted April 13, had a margin of error of 4.1 percent. Sen. Snowe is on the Senate Finance Committee reviewing the restructuring of Social Security. See Bangor News

NEWS OF: 4/17/2005

Republicans Rate as Anti-Senior on Social Security

Where do Maine’s politicians stand on social security? Allen and Michaud are rated as pro-senior, while Snowe and Collins both come up bupkis. President Bush is facing a make or break moment : a showdown with the Senate Finance Committee. Currently Sen. Snowe, a moderate member of that committee, and every Democrat are on record as opposing private accounts. Which makes it a dead heat.

NEWS OF: 4/11/2005

15% Off the Top

VIEW ALL: Social Security

Just pop in your DOB and average annual salary and Mike Michaud’s Social Security Calculator will give you a side by side comparison of just how much you’d lose in benefits under the “private accounts” plan.

NEWS OF: 3/14/2005

Collins Introduces Social Security Fairness Act

The Social Security windfall elimination provision reduces Social Security benefits for retirees who paid into the system, but who also receive a government pension from work not covered under Social Security, such as pensions from the Maine State Retirement Fund.

While private sector retirees receive monthly Social Security checks equal to 90 percent of their first $612 in average monthly career earnings, government pensioners are only allowed to receive 40 percent — a penalty of around $3,600 annually.

Those impacted include teachers, police officers, and firefighters. Senator Collins’ Social Security Fairness Act seeks to eliminate this penalty.

NEWS OF: 2/27/2005

Social Security: Private Accounts = Personal Poverty

“Today, a worker who retires at age 65 gets a benefit of $15,336 per year. But if price indexing had been used instead - like the (Bush) Administration wants - that same retiree would receive only $6,180 per year. That is 60% cut in benefits.”

Read, The Administration’s Social Security Privatization Plan: Reading the Fine Print by Mike Michaud.

NEWS OF: 2/18/2005

Town Meeting: Social Insecurity

VIEW ALL: Social Security

Tom Allen and Mike Michaud invite Mainers to discuss Social Security, or the impending lack thereof:

Bangor

Tuesday, February 22, 1:00-3:00 PM
Hammond Street Senior Center
2 Hammond Street, Bangor

Portland

Monday, February 28, 1:30-3:30 PM
Ludcke Hall, University of New England
716 Stevens Avenue, Portland

Panelists include AARP, the Maine Disability Rights Center, and the Maine AFL-CIO.

NEWS OF: 2/4/2005

Social Security Reform? Maine E.O.s Say No

Olympia Snowe: says she has “serious concerns” and favors continuing the current system in which retirees receive a guaranteed payout every month. NYT

Tom Allen: “Social Security is not in crisis and will not be as long as Americans continue to work.” (AP)

Mike Michaud: agreed and said the crisis is with the federal budget deficit.

Susan Collins: said she was pleased the president made it clear that Social Security will remain in place for today’s senior citizens, many of whom have voiced concern about their futures.
Bangor Daily News

NEWS OF: 2/1/2005

SOU: Social Security Bankrupt?

VIEW ALL: Social Security

Issue: Social Security Reform

Despite claims of impending bankruptcy by the Bush Administration, the Congressional Budget Office doesn’t predict any kind of Social Security crisis until 2052, at which point benefits would not run out, but could be reduced to around 78% of promised benefits.

Proposed “Private accounts” would be more wisely invested in plans that would produce higher returns over time, according to Bush, but…

  1. Predictions are based on market averages. (One “Black Monday” and you’re out of retirement in your mid 80s and looking for a job at your local Hannaford’s)
  2. Accounts are federally controlled and include an annual fee of 30 cents for every $100 invested. (Does Halliburton have a Financial Investment division yet?)
  3. The amount paid back upon retirement is based upon “what’s required to keep you above the official poverty line at the time.”

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