Apr 4, 2005
AFL-CIO officials announced they had organized mass demonstrations in 70 cities on March 31 against President Bush's proposal to privatize Social Security. This undoubtedly came as a surprise, not only to union members, but also to almost all local union officers and activists who were not asked to attend these "mass" demonstrations.
The unions should be trying to organize big demonstrations of workers around the country. And they should be fighting against the whole attack on Social Security, starting with the lie that Social Security is in trouble and has to be "fixed."
Social Security is not in "trouble." Even according to Bush administration estimates, Social Security can pay full benefits up to the year 2041 – and we know all about how ready the Bush administration is to lie. And full benefits could be paid after 2041 if wealthy people paid Social Security taxes on all their earnings, rather than on just the first $90,000 each year.
Not only that, if the wealthy paid fully, Social Security benefits could be increased for everyone while the age of retirement could be lowered for everyone. Instead of that, the Democrats are pushing the idea that the age of retirement has to be raised further and benefits be cut by changing the cost of living formula.
The unions by focusing only on Bush's asinine plan to privatize Social Security draw attention away from the real danger – the readiness of both parties to "reform" it away!