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January 04, 2005

God Damn John Kerry And His God Damn Lies

I'm sure other people will be all over this soon, but I want to be the first to get out there and say this: GOD DAMN JOHN KERRY AND HIS GOD DAMN LIES ABOUT BUSH AND SOCIAL SECURITY.

Via Max Sawicky, we now have a good idea of what specifically Bush is going to propose for Social Security. AND IT SHOWS JOHN KERRY DID NOTHING BUT LIE ABOUT IT.

As you may remember, back in October, John Kerry's god damn campaign released an ad saying this:

“The truth is coming out... George Bush has finally admitted that he intends to privatize Social Security in a second term. ‘I'm going to come out strong after my swearing in,’ Bush said, ‘with…privatizing of Social Security...' Bush has a plan that cuts Social Security benefits by 30 to 45%. The real Bush Agenda? Cutting Social Security.”

John Kerry even claimed Bush planned a "January Surprise" to push for this. Fortunately, GOP chairman Ed Gillespie was around to tell the truth -- that Kerry was being "just flat inaccurate."

This is obvious now. I mean, it's January. And what does Bush's plan call for?


Just to repeat so this is absolutely clear: John Kerry said Bush planned to cut Social Security benefits by 30-45%. As we now see, the truth is exactly the opposite: Bush plans to cut Social Security benefits by 30-45%.



Seriously, though, this is amazing. The percentages provided above include the returns on private accounts... which means guaranteed benefits (like all Social Security benefits now) will be significantly lower. In other words, someone retiring in 2075 who invests badly will see a much greater cut in benefits than 45.9%.

Moreover, as Monsieur Sawicky points out, Bush's plan will cut benefits beneath what they'd be with no changes to Social Security at all. So Bush's plan is to make things worse for retirees than they would be under circumstances Bush calls a "crisis."

UPDATE: Perhaps I'm wrong that the graph above includes returns on private accounts. The Washington Post article I swiped it from is unclear. I assumed it was, because the graph (from the SS actuary) is very similar to numbers found in this Congressional Budget Office report.

Here's a comparison:

The CBO report (in Table 2) gives the annual scheduled benefit for a middle-income retiree born from 2000-2010 as $26,400. They project the same person would receive $14,600 in annual benefits (including the return from private accounts) under the plan Bush will likely propose.

14,600 divided by 26,400 equals .553 equals 55.3% equals a (100-55.3) 44.7% cut in benefits.

Meanwhile, the graph I swiped gives a cut of 45.9% for someone retiring in 2075. So I think I was right that it includes the return on private accounts. But I'm not sure, because of some other numbers the Post article throws around. I will call the SSA tomorrow and find out.

Posted at January 4, 2005 12:03 PM | TrackBack

You're repeated use of the phrase has me wonder: What kind of "wrong turn in life" causes someone to end up as an expert on social security? Were you captured by an SSA press gang and put into forced servitude in a document warehouse? Stranded on a desert island with nothing to read but the corpus of social security legislation? Suffered from a neurodegenerative disease (only recently curable) that caused you to obsessively tabulate social security data? Had an arch-nemesis who could only be defeated by proving in court that he was receiving social security checks in the names of each of his sixteen Yorkshire terriers?

Posted by: plover at January 5, 2005 12:17 AM

Bleah – that should obviously be "Your repeated use of the phrase..."

Posted by: plover at January 5, 2005 01:20 AM

Jonathan Schwarz said in another post:

As it happens, I worked for Baker briefly several years ago...
Did you edit this bit since it was originally posted? Or was I just being sharp as a bowling ball the first time through?

⟨ kicks self ⟩

Posted by: plover at January 5, 2005 02:53 PM

And not only that but I still haven't made my first comment make sense.


That should be: "Your repeated use of the phrase has me wondering: what kind..."

⟨ kicks self again ⟩

Posted by: plover at January 5, 2005 02:58 PM


No need for any kicking of anyone. I did indeed edit that post so it explained why my mind is filled with endless, dreary details about Social Security.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at January 5, 2005 03:16 PM

Oh good, I didn't want "blithely skipping over entire important paragraphs in weblog posts" as one of my super powers anyway...

But I'm sorry, fact checking a book?? What kind of a story is that? You really expect people to believe this as an excuse for your unhealthy relationship with social security data? You could at least try telling people something plausible – at least as plausible as the theories I came up with anyway.

Posted by: plover at January 5, 2005 07:45 PM