Tuesday, July 22, 2008

McCain a hypocrite on Social Security

MSNBC (and other media outlets) reported this on July 17:

Although Republican presidential candidate John McCain has called Social Security "a disgrace," he still cashes his own retirement check every month.

"I'm receiving the benefits, the system is broken and, unfortunately, my children and grandchildren, according to the trustees of the Social Security system, will not have the same benefits the present retirees have," McCain told reporters Thursday on his campaign bus.

McCain's 2007 tax return shows Social Security benefits of $23,157 for the year, an average of $1,929.75 a month. He said he started receiving the payments "whenever I was eligible."

It's a good thing that John McCain receives a Social Security check. He paid into the system for 40-some years, so he should receive the same guaranteed payment that I expect in 2015. It's a safety net for all American workers.

However, McCain says the system is "a disgrace" and that it is "broken." If it is broken, blame it on him and his fellow Republicans. George W. Bush poisoned the term "Social Security reform" when he attempted to privatize it during his first term. For most of us, "privatize" translates into a transfer of wealth from the middle class to the corporate entities (Bush's pals) that would handle the privatization. Remember who made the money when Bush jobbed out some functions of the military? Halliburton and friends (e.g., Dick Cheney).

So, if John McCain has a plan for Social Security reform that doesn't include a windfall for his Republican pals, I'll listen to it. But it has to include a rollback of the tax cuts for the rich that the Republicans initiated in Bush's first term (such mischief they got away with in the early part of this century). Those tax cuts have funneled more money to the wealthy and left less funding for domestic programs such as Social Security. If they're going to get Social Security checks to ease their retirement, make them pay their fair share into the system.

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