Workers’ Correspondence

I just got off the phone with a very nice young woman by the name of Gail, who handles legislation and lobbying for the national office of the AFL-CIO in Washington, D.C. I was looking for information about Senate Bill 1878, otherwise known as the “Social Security Solvency and Modernization Act of 2003,” sponsored by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). S. 1878 would privatize Social Security by setting up “personal retirement accounts” to compete with Social Security.

The Bill sets up a new authority, the “Personal Retirement Account Board” in opposition to the Social Security Commission. It allows for a person to have his FICA funds transferred totally out of the Old Age and Survivors Fund into the private sector and into an entity like Enron, Metlife, or the stock market (remember how much money was lost through these entities) and have them administer their account. In other words, money will be depleted from the Old Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund, i.e., there will not be enough left for beneficiaries now and in the future for those who do not participate.

Getting back to my phone conversations with Gail, the young woman from the AFL-CIO, I came away really scared. She told me that S. 1878 wasn’t the only bill the Republicans were introducing to privatize Social Security. She also told me that if Bush is re-elected, there will be an avalanche of bills, some with bipartisan support, backed by big money, to privatize Social Security.

If this bill makes it out of committee, tremendous pressure is going to have to be brought on your respective senators to vote it down. Reach your Senators at the Capitol Switchboard at 1-888-508-2974.

– Gary DeSantis
Hamilton Township NJ