Social Security Reform The Bush Term Paper

Download this Term Paper in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Term Paper:


Meantime, a group called "Progress for America Voter Fund," an advocacy group that is part of the Republican Party, is spending $2 million on TV ads (one-minute spots) promoting the Bush Social Security reform project. "Some people say Social Security is not in trouble, just like some thought the titanic was unsinkable," the ads state. The commercial also says that "if nothing is done," Social Security will "go bankrupt."

Progress for America" spent millions of dollars promoting Bush's reelection campaign, according to an article in the New York Times (Justice, 2005). The current commercial, which opens "with a scene of a fog-shrouded iceberg," will run on "national cable channels for weeks," the Times' piece stated.

The Democrats have countered with ads of their own, according to the Associated Press (Raum, 2005) on Sunday, March 13. The Democrats call Bush's proposal to privatize Social Security "a risky privatization scheme." The Democrats' Saturday radio broadcast on March 12 featured the grandson of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (James Roosevelt Jr.). He said: "In 1935, my grandfather signed the Social Security Act into law, ensuring that Americans retired with financial security." But "unfortunately," he continued, "President Bush and Washington Republicans" do not share the belief of "the guiding principle that America's workers deserve a secure retirement."

Roosevelt and other Democrats complain that privatizing Social Security will punish workers "in times of long market downturns," because the investment Bush is talking about on the Wall Street market wouldn't deliver as high a return as it would in economic boom times, the AP story pointed out. The article also mentioned that the most recent AP poll shows the Bush Social Security reform proposals gaining only a 37% positive result from the public.

The AARP (American Association of Retired Persons), the largest advocacy organization for senior citizens in America, states on its Web site: "We oppose creating accounts out of the contributions workers currently make into Social Security... [because such accounts] actually worsen Social Security's long-term financial health, draining revenues out of Social Security at the very time boomers begin to retire."

Moreover, the AARP continues, "such individual accounts are expensive - they will cost about $2 trillion." What that means for workers is they "would have to pay twice to create this new system..."

In the "Frequently Asked Questions" section on Social Security, the AARP is asked, "Wouldn't women do better with individual accounts?" "No," AARP answers; since women tend to have lower earnings and more years out of the paid workforce, they would have fewer dollars going into their accounts" from those years of work.

What are some proposed solutions to the Social Security system?

Business Week reporter Paul Craig Roberts writes that Social Security "can be fixed without raising taxes or saddling the dollar with a debt burden it cannot sustain." How? He alludes to a plan put forward in 1981 by a deputy assistant director in the Treasury Department (Stephen J. Entin) that changed the "initial benefit formula from wage indexing to price indexing." What that means is that "real benefits would still rise, though more slowly." And it would work, Roberts believes, "if U.S. wages continue to outpace prices."

Denver Post Washington Bureau chief John Aloysius Farrell suggest a number of ways in which the Social Security might be repaired and made whole: a) "raising the wage cap" (reported earlier in this paper); Farrell says the shortfall could be "cut in half" over the next ten years by raising the cap to $140,000; b) "include more state and local government workers"; some 5% of workers in the U.S. are not presently in the Social Security system, and putting them in would cut the shortfall by 9%, Farrell believes; c) "raise the payroll tax"; a 1% hike in payroll taxes (FICA) "would keep Social Security in the black" but only for 75 years; d) "raise the retirement age" to 70, in gradual increments (by 2083), would lower the shortfall by "38%"; e) "change the indexes" (also suggested by Business Week's Roberts.

It should be noted, as Douglas Holtz-Eakin (director of the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office) suggests in Farrell's piece, that even if the Social Security shortfall was whittled down to a manageable size, Congress could still take the cash from the trust funds to compensate for deficits, "to spend for other projects, leaving the government in no better shape than when the trustees redeem their Treasury bonds.

The AARP believes in the following solutions for Social Security: a) "increase the cap on taxable wages" (proposed by others in this paper); b) "diversify the way part of the trust fund assets are invested to increase the rate of return."

What does the conservative publication the National Review say about raising the "cap" on earnings that are subjected to Social Security taxes? "This terrible idea is being peddled to Republicans as a compromise... [and] looks like a slippery first step toward eliminating the cap altogether, as happened with Medicare" (Reynolds, 2005). The National Review supports the Bush privatization idea: Giving workers the opportunity "to divert - voluntarily - part of their payroll tax to a personal account is crucial," Reynolds writes. Indeed, he continues, those who advocate "reform" without "adding choice and ownership are actually just proposing various ways of saddling young people with higher taxes and lower benefits."

The Social Security "trust fund," Reynolds reminds readers, "is not a pile of cash. It is just a bookkeeping gimmick in which one part of the government promises money to another part of the government."


AARP (American Association of Retired Persons). About Social Security: Frequently Asked

Questions About Strengthening Social Security. 13 March 2005. Retrieved at

Craig, Paul Roberts. "Private Accounts: Right Idea, Wrong Time." Business Week 3923

2005): 39-41.

Farrell, John Aloysius. "Fixes abound, but choosing is tough." The Denver Post 13 March 2005: E1.

Justice, Glen. "Group Opens $2 Million Drive for Bush Social Security Plan." The New York

Times 13 March…[continue]

Cite This Term Paper:

"Social Security Reform The Bush" (2005, March 13) Retrieved October 26, 2016, from

"Social Security Reform The Bush" 13 March 2005. Web.26 October. 2016. <>

"Social Security Reform The Bush", 13 March 2005, Accessed.26 October. 2016,

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Social Security Reform

    Social Security Crisis While the United States does not provide a pension and health care for all its citizens as some countries do, we do have a program designed to make sure that all our older retired workers have some money on which to live. Called Social Security, it also provides money to people who are so disabled before retirement age that they cannot work, and (depending on the age of

  • Social Security System

    Social Security System How does one earn a living wage during economic hardship? Certainly, earning a living wage is the mainstay of a decent standard of living for most working age Americans and their families. However, Social Security, the nation's largest family protection program, is in much need of improvement. "America's most popular and successful social program, Social Security provides a steady, reliable income for 45 million elderly and disabled workers

  • Social Security Since Its Inception the Social

    Social Security Since its inception, the Social Security system has provided benefits to augment the income of people upon their retirement. However, current projections point to a crisis in Social Security. Experts believe that by 2038, the Social Security trust fund will have been depleted (Williamson). This paper presents an overview of the current social security crisis and evaluates the plans to address this problem. The first part of the paper provides

  • Bush and Social Security

    President George Bush has recently won reelection as the President of the United States. While he has remained clear and concise on many of his political stances, his position on Social Security has been one of at least marginal variation. His overall belief that the Social Security system should be reworked has not altered, but his position on the best way to do that seems to have changed from month

  • Future of Social Security

    Future of Social Security The office of Social Security makes the current attitude of the administration clear: "Social Security was never meant to be the sole source of income in retirement. It is often said that a comfortable retirement is based on a three-legged stool of Social Security, pensions and savings. American workers should be saving for their retirement on a personal basis and through employer-sponsored or other retirement plans," and

  • Social Security Program The Wrier Explores What

    Social Security program. The wrier explores what the program is and what problems it faces. In addition, the writer explains how the services work and what role social workers play in the program. The writer then wraps it up with a discussion about changes that are needed and what the writer would like to see implemented. Each month the social security office prepares and mails out millions of social security

  • Bush Administration Can Be Fully

    The most worrying aspect in this case is the fact that the Patriot Act seems to be endangering some of the fundamental liberties of the American individual. The motivation seems simple: the country is at war and, in any such conditions, it is allowed to resort to all means to achieve victory. On the other hand, the fact that certain governmental practices (many of which have probably been going on

Read Full Term Paper
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved