Saturday's Democratic response to the presidential radio address was delivered by Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan. For the third straight week, the topic is President Bush's plan to privatize Social Security.

A transcript of Stabenow's remarks:

Hello. I'm Senator Debbie Stabenow.

Social Security reflects the best of American values. It's a promise our government makes to all Americans that if you work hard and play by the rules, you'll be able to count on a basic quality of life and dignity in your older years.

Social Security is not a handout. It's a benefit that Americans earn by working hard all their lives and paying into the system.

But Social Security is about more than retirement, it's America's insurance policy. It protects you whether you're a 22-year-old just starting your career, or you're a 75-year-old enjoying retirement.

It's not just about tomorrow, it's about today.

Social Security covers you if you lose a parent, or if you become disabled.

Social Security is the great American success story.

Before Social Security, 50 percent of older Americans were living in poverty. Now, it's only 10 percent. If that's not a success story, I don't know what is.

Some claim that Social Security is in crisis, but let's look at the facts.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reports Social Security can pay 100 percent of its commitments until the year 2052 -- almost 50 years.

Still, the program does face long-term challenges, and we should act to strengthen and improve the program for the long term.

Democrats want to be a part of that effort, and it will require some hard choices. But to provide some perspective, the projected long-term Social Security shortfall is only one fifth, or 20 percent, the cost of the tax breaks enacted by President Bush.

Democrats look forward to receiving a detailed Social Security proposal from President Bush. But we're concerned by some recent leaks from the White House.

A memo prepared by an administration official suggests President Bush will push a privatization plan with deep cuts in benefits. These cuts would be as high as 25 percent for some current workers, and 45 percent for retirees in the future. And the benefit cuts would apply to all seniors, even those who choose not to invest in privatized accounts.

America's insurance policy was never meant to be a privatized 401-K plan, or a high-risk investment. It was meant to be the secure foundation for your retirement.

I remember the looks on the faces of Enron employees, many with tears in their eyes, who told me, "Thank God for Social Security, it's all I have left."

Beyond its deep benefit cuts and added risks, privatization also would substantially add to the National Debt. Our nation already is staggering under the largest budget deficit in the history of the country.

Taking on even more debt could destabilize financial markets, drive up interest rates, and stifle economic growth. It also would force our children and grandchildren to bear the burdens of more debt and higher taxes.

When I think about my own children and all young Americans across our country who have hopes and expectations for a secure financial future, I cannot imagine piling even more debt onto their shoulders.

Democrats hope that the president will reject privatization schemes that would require deep benefit cuts and massive increases in the National Debt.

We want to work with the president to strengthen and improve the program.

Senator Max Baucus, our senior member on the Finance Committee, will be leading our caucus on this issue.

Democrats look forward not only to making Social Security more secure, but to developing new and innovative ways to promote savings in addition to Social Security.

Too few Americans are saving for their future, and we must address that. It's simply not enough to maintain the status quo.

Democrats are committed to keeping the security in Social Security. At the same time, we want to look to the future to create new ways for Americans to build wealth and retirement security, because every working American deserves a secure retirement.

I'm Senator Debbie Stabenow. Thank you for listening.

I have trouble believing that Americans will let President Bush make changes to Social Security that would cut benefits to retirees in the near term and solve no long-term issues.

But it's a huge mistake to think privatization won't happen. As Bush's second term begins this week, no one should misunderstimate his ability to steer the ship of state towards an iceberg.

Three numbers for anyone who believes there's an imminent danger to Social Security that must be addressed today with the most radical changes in the history of the program:

Cost Estimates over the Next 75 Years

  • Social Security trust fund shortfall, predicted to begin in 2042 or 2052: $3.7 trillion

  • Bush's Medicare prescription drug benefit: $8.1 trillion

  • Bush's tax cuts, if made permanent: $11.6 trillion

Source: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a liberal think tank

-- Rogers Cadenhead

Comments

From Billy Beck's "Two-Four" blog; see website for embedded URL links:

Fri Jan, 21 2005
If You Cannot Discuss The Morality, Then Just Shut Up

Via Donald Luskin comes this article by Alex Epstein at the Ayn Rand Institute.

"Social Security in any form is morally irredeemable."

Now hear this, ladies and gentlemen, and try to get it through your block heads: all the so-called 'debate' about social security is perfectly impertinent, irrelevent, and strictly unconscionable. Everyone you see talking about whether or how to "save social security" -- left to right, top to bottom -- is a straight-up fucking asshole who has no earthly idea what America is, and is therefore instantly disqualified from the discussion.

And I'll point out something that's been on my mind for over a week, now:

This illustrates the misgrappling of Greg Swann. He thinks "The Endarkenment" is something that I say is coming. The fact is that we're in it, and we have been for whole generations. The fact that this discussion about "social security" is even taking place should prove the point to anyone who cannot bring themselves to call George W. Bush "freedom's friend".

More -- in e-mail, McPhillips alerts me to this hopeful palliative for my "heartburn", in which he takes up "the moral question". I wrote in e-mail:

How on earth, Martin, can we possibly drive a stake through the heart of this idea that the government is morally authorized to dictate the terms and conditions of individuals' lives?

Let me tell you something: any ordinary individual on earth should come to me with the proposition, "If you and/or your employer contributes 10 percent of income to a retirement investment of suitable risk, then you can, for an additional 2.5 percent of income, buy into an insurance program that will guarantee that you will be made whole for the current basic social security payout (as normally adjusted)."

That asshole should just step up to me with a proposition like that. He would have about ten seconds to clear the area before I started punching his fucking lights out for the appalling presumption of approaching my private affairs like that.

Now: nothing about the moral outrage at something like that changes because we're talking about the government instead of "any ordinary individual". No individual has the right to enforce something like that on my life (or yours), and it should be bloody obvious (here's that "Endarkenment" thing again) that no right can be "delegated" to a government which is not possessed by individuals to begin with.

No, Martin: no "permissions" or "authorizations" or any of the rest of it from these goddamned commissars, and that includes the second-termer that everyone's jabbering about.

They should stay out of my life because it's mine.

Period.

And, yes; it can be pointed out (as it has been, often) that "the reality" of the day is that they already have their grubby mitts all over my life as it is, now, and that, therefore, I'm a "utopian". All I have to say is that if demanding the right to freedom -- in the word spoken yesterday twenty-seven times -- is utopian, then we're all at least as fucked as I keep saying we are.

I'm not impressed, Martin. I'm not going to lie to you. You know I think too much of you for that.

Last Round --

> But in reality the "obligations" we speak
> of are, despite being unethically incurred,
> still owed in good faith to those who
> have lived their lives paying into the till
> and anticipating that they will get their
> due benefits.

Somewhere around here, I have a book published about 1937, by one of the policy "wonks" (he didn't know that's what he was, back then) who engineered this fucking disaster. I don't recall his name right now and I'm not going to go look. I do recall, however, just seething when I read his pious horseshit in that book. I swear it, Martin: if I could go back in a time machine, I would strangle that rotten bastard without compunction right in the middle of Sunday dinner with what was doubtless his American sweetheart Norman Rockwell family. Just fucking kill him.

You are aware that you and I are not going to live to see the end of this, right? It's pretty easy for me to sit here and say that there are nearly unlimited possibilities for human misery in this thing. Hannah Arendt once pointed out that it is a clever rhetorical tactic to remove consequences to a future where any given argument cannot be proved. What I'm saying is open to that dismissal. However, causation is still a very real metaphysical phenomenon (last I checked), and, however bad it gets between now and the day I die, I will die certain that the worst is yet to come.

> All I've really said is that all that should
> be bought out,...

I know. Look: where is that money going to come from?

No matter how you break it out, there are people living today whose lives were committed to this thing whole generations before they were born by imperious shitbags who simply had no right to do that.

This cannot be made more simple than that.

I am talking about an outrage so enormous that most people don't even see it when they're looking right at it.


 

My name is bad ass Jimmy Kanada. Who in the hell can whip more deer, milk more goats, shave more sheep, sip more tonic mixed with gin, puke more coors light and grape wine, shoot more ducks in mid flight, break more deer necks, tame more hyenas, smoke more weed, smoke more Cool Filter Kings, jam more blues (Al Green) at midnight, pop more cherrys, spit more dip, whip more ass, piss longer, curse louder while walking barefoot through a swamp, trim more trees, sic more blood hounds on a pig, drink more yak, out fuss any slut into licking toes and stripping, gut more sword fish, bust more watermelon, grease more shot gun barrels, neuter more doberman pinschers, crack more mountain ice while shooting shot gun rounds at mountain goats, fight more geese with bare nuckles before sicking the pitbulls, sing the tracks of Betty Wright better, stomp more snails with only dress socks on, take more heat from the sun, cook more deer meat before catfishing with a spear gun, fill more milk jugs full of guerrilla piss, chew more gum and corn, gulp more liquir, roast more penguins, chunk more guinea pigs in a chicken cage full of blood thirsty mangy mutts with the aids virus, kill more jack rabbitts with a piece of glass, poop in more buckets to mix with lime juice, crack open more sea snail shells with a car jack, slap more lambs, peel more oranges, make more cock roach poison out of blended battery acid and giraffe piss, shoot more cross bow arrows at a politition's mansion from the weeds, spit more loogies in Walgreens, dance better in a croud of drunks, urinate longer in the back of a taxi cab, swing more sloths around in a circle by the balls tied to a shoe string, fry more octopus in dead fish grease for greyhound chow, hit more swan birds in the water with a truck load of broken gravel, milk more camels to make the step mother oatmeal, whip up more horse dookey and butter in order to force feed it to a retarded elf, take more wasp stings only to catch them for hunting season, make more hard headed house brides run across more sewage leaks in the yard for punishment, beat more hillbillys to the punch line after 11 bottles of Mad Dog 20/20, Train more sheep dogs to murder pigeons, laugh in the face of more census takers, cut more lumber, bust more salt lick only to grind it for monkey poop mixing, hunt more zebra for truck seat covers, fart more beans in Taco Bell, steal more chickens from another mans farm, scare more pizza delivery boys with a red hot branding iron fresh out of the fire, seduce more weman in the back of a big foot truck while sipping grape wine, make more chumps dance while ducking gun shots to the toes, and brush whiter teeth on a drunk mule packing a sack of pecans and marijuana seeds? Than JIMMY KANADA DAMMIT!! !! ??Who in the hell dares to step on Jimmy Kanada's grass to out grape wine drink, piss for the longest time on the store room floor of Walgreens, mix more baboon poop and butter for force feeding 4 geese with the mumps, shoot more shot gun rounds up the butt crack of a moose, vex more 92 year old cowboys by throwing mangy stray mutts over in theyre chicken cages, sick more doberman pinschers with the aids virus on a 3 leg having goat, throw more honey dipped piglets up against a wasp nest, stick more needles through the flesh of a dead camel, get a mule the drunkest on moon shine before brushing the donkeys teeth with colgate in order to see the donkeys teeth at night,neuter more wild zebra in the dark with a razor blade, make more fat girls cum with a classic pickle, make more short leprechauns clean the sewage tank after june with 3 dress socks for violating my grass, curse out more pricks for not comprehending the 11 blood hounds with tape worms, make a hooker lick toes for not being sexy, flick more Kool Filter King lit cigarettes at a pizza delivery boy for not saying yes sir, Train more starving beagles to pluck a goose, sell more crack in the ghetto, piss off taller sky scrapers after new years eve, eat more planters peanuts while plowing the dessert, hunt more sloth in the rain forrest, mix more fish guts, guerrilla piss, ape man poop, and rat poison to kill palmetto roaches in a cave, shoot more bats with piss dipped darts, cause more avalanches while shooting a bazooka up at mountain rams, make a horny cow watch me titty screw a tramp woman, tell the sickest jokes, strangle more flamingos with a car jack, piss on the top of a 3ft tall mans head from London for kicks, Bust more wine bottles up against the limo of the next county judge, drop more piglets in a tank full of water snakes and stinging sea snails, blow up more country clubs with 44 sticks of lit dynomite, fry more road runner birds in a pot full of piss and fish grease while they are still alive and kicking, fry more poop mixed with eggs in order to punish a drunk horse with gold teeth, cause more monkeys to masterbate by showing them porn, milk more giraffes with a water hose, fight more computer geeks drunk to the sweet sounds of the Jackson Five, Jam more Al green while steaming greens, sic more red nose pitbulls on a guinea pig, mix more guerrilla piss with cow nut for boiling frogs, make more home made honey from a bee's nest, crush more beer cans with a jack hammer, train more Hyenas to murder swans from a pond, sit for 2 days in a truck jamming Barry White before cursing out the wife and getting piss drunk on moon shine quicker than bad ass Jimmy Kanada huh?!My name is Jimmy Kanada. Who has the audacity to challenge 11 of my baddest neutered blood hounds with rabies, drink more Mad Dog 20/20, smoke more Winston cigarettes, smoke more cigars, smoke more packs of Marboro 100's, sick 44 starved beagles on a bull frog, whip a mule with a pair of deer antlers, spit more dip, drink more Coors light, bust up more salt lick, crack more mountain ice while shooting at mountain goats, ride a moose through 8 miles of swamp land, and make a wife lick the moss and sweat from in between ole Marvin Kennedy's toes, mow more grass, talk more jive, shred more hay, dig more ditches, trim more hedges, drink more coffee, catch more bass fish, rope more cattle, use more giraffe spit and battery acid blended together for rat poison, vomit more grape wine, sip more yak, Bust more salt lick, make more beef jerky from buffalo meat, bar-b-q more quail, pluck more chickens, Tame more jackals, throw a guinea pig in a chicken coup full of wiener dogs, bust a bottle full of pee up against the mayors limo, beat a hillbilly to the punch line, crack open more pecans, eat more planters peanuts, chop more cedar wood, stomp on a plant full of water bugs with gator boots on, drop a wood rat in a bucket full of fire ants and scorpions, breed a pack of male hyenas with a half dozen Dobermans, milk a bull cow, sip more tonic, make a mule gallop through mud packing sun flower seeds, plow more desert land, make the nephews fix the sewage tank and clean the commodes after Thanksgiving, pop more black cats (fire works), sick 44 blood hounds on a wounded baby hippopotamus crippled on land by a shot gun bullet, curse, Play more blues and
Polish more Cadillac's than ole Jimmy Kanada huh?

For more more live info: http: //www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBwyR9vCV-c


 

My name is bad ass Jimmy Kanada. Who in the hell can whip more deer, milk more goats, shave more sheep, sip more tonic mixed with gin, puke more coors light and grape wine, shoot more ducks in mid flight, break more deer necks, tame more hyenas, smoke more weed, smoke more Cool Filter Kings, jam more blues (Al Green) at midnight, pop more cherrys, spit more dip, whip more ass, piss longer, curse louder while walking barefoot through a swamp, trim more trees, sic more blood hounds on a pig, drink more yak, out fuss any slut into licking toes and stripping, gut more sword fish, bust more watermelon, grease more shot gun barrels, neuter more doberman pinschers, crack more mountain ice while shooting shot gun rounds at mountain goats, fight more geese with bare nuckles before sicking the pitbulls, sing the tracks of Betty Wright better, stomp more snails with only dress socks on, take more heat from the sun, cook more deer meat before catfishing with a spear gun, fill more milk jugs full of guerrilla piss, chew more gum and corn, gulp more liquir, roast more penguins, chunk more guinea pigs in a chicken cage full of blood thirsty mangy mutts with the aids virus, kill more jack rabbitts with a piece of glass, poop in more buckets to mix with lime juice, crack open more sea snail shells with a car jack, slap more lambs, peel more oranges, make more cock roach poison out of blended battery acid and giraffe piss, shoot more cross bow arrows at a politition's mansion from the weeds, spit more loogies in Walgreens, dance better in a croud of drunks, urinate longer in the back of a taxi cab, swing more sloths around in a circle by the balls tied to a shoe string, fry more octopus in dead fish grease for greyhound chow, hit more swan birds in the water with a truck load of broken gravel, milk more camels to make the step mother oatmeal, whip up more horse dookey and butter in order to force feed it to a retarded elf, take more wasp stings only to catch them for hunting season, make more hard headed house brides run across more sewage leaks in the yard for punishment, beat more hillbillys to the punch line after 11 bottles of Mad Dog 20/20, Train more sheep dogs to murder pigeons, laugh in the face of more census takers, cut more lumber, bust more salt lick only to grind it for monkey poop mixing, hunt more zebra for truck seat covers, fart more beans in Taco Bell, steal more chickens from another mans farm, scare more pizza delivery boys with a red hot branding iron fresh out of the fire, seduce more weman in the back of a big foot truck while sipping grape wine, make more chumps dance while ducking gun shots to the toes, and brush whiter teeth on a drunk mule packing a sack of pecans and marijuana seeds? Than JIMMY KANADA DAMMIT!! !! ??Who in the hell dares to step on Jimmy Kanada's grass to out grape wine drink, piss for the longest time on the store room floor of Walgreens, mix more baboon poop and butter for force feeding 4 geese with the mumps, shoot more shot gun rounds up the butt crack of a moose, vex more 92 year old cowboys by throwing mangy stray mutts over in theyre chicken cages, sick more doberman pinschers with the aids virus on a 3 leg having goat, throw more honey dipped piglets up against a wasp nest, stick more needles through the flesh of a dead camel, get a mule the drunkest on moon shine before brushing the donkeys teeth with colgate in order to see the donkeys teeth at night,neuter more wild zebra in the dark with a razor blade, make more fat girls cum with a classic pickle, make more short leprechauns clean the sewage tank after june with 3 dress socks for violating my grass, curse out more pricks for not comprehending the 11 blood hounds with tape worms, make a hooker lick toes for not being sexy, flick more Kool Filter King lit cigarettes at a pizza delivery boy for not saying yes sir, Train more starving beagles to pluck a goose, sell more crack in the ghetto, piss off taller sky scrapers after new years eve, eat more planters peanuts while plowing the dessert, hunt more sloth in the rain forrest, mix more fish guts, guerrilla piss, ape man poop, and rat poison to kill palmetto roaches in a cave, shoot more bats with piss dipped darts, cause more avalanches while shooting a bazooka up at mountain rams, make a horny cow watch me titty screw a tramp woman, tell the sickest jokes, strangle more flamingos with a car jack, piss on the top of a 3ft tall mans head from London for kicks, Bust more wine bottles up against the limo of the next county judge, drop more piglets in a tank full of water snakes and stinging sea snails, blow up more country clubs with 44 sticks of lit dynomite, fry more road runner birds in a pot full of piss and fish grease while they are still alive and kicking, fry more poop mixed with eggs in order to punish a drunk horse with gold teeth, cause more monkeys to masterbate by showing them porn, milk more giraffes with a water hose, fight more computer geeks drunk to the sweet sounds of the Jackson Five, Jam more Al green while steaming greens, sic more red nose pitbulls on a guinea pig, mix more guerrilla piss with cow nut for boiling frogs, make more home made honey from a bee's nest, crush more beer cans with a jack hammer, train more Hyenas to murder swans from a pond, sit for 2 days in a truck jamming Barry White before cursing out the wife and getting piss drunk on moon shine quicker than bad ass Jimmy Kanada huh?!My name is Jimmy Kanada. Who has the audacity to challenge 11 of my baddest neutered blood hounds with rabies, drink more Mad Dog 20/20, smoke more Winston cigarettes, smoke more cigars, smoke more packs of Marboro 100's, sick 44 starved beagles on a bull frog, whip a mule with a pair of deer antlers, spit more dip, drink more Coors light, bust up more salt lick, crack more mountain ice while shooting at mountain goats, ride a moose through 8 miles of swamp land, and make a wife lick the moss and sweat from in between ole Marvin Kennedy's toes, mow more grass, talk more jive, shred more hay, dig more ditches, trim more hedges, drink more coffee, catch more bass fish, rope more cattle, use more giraffe spit and battery acid blended together for rat poison, vomit more grape wine, sip more yak, Bust more salt lick, make more beef jerky from buffalo meat, bar-b-q more quail, pluck more chickens, Tame more jackals, throw a guinea pig in a chicken coup full of wiener dogs, bust a bottle full of pee up against the mayors limo, beat a hillbilly to the punch line, crack open more pecans, eat more planters peanuts, chop more cedar wood, stomp on a plant full of water bugs with gator boots on, drop a wood rat in a bucket full of fire ants and scorpions, breed a pack of male hyenas with a half dozen Dobermans, milk a bull cow, sip more tonic, make a mule gallop through mud packing sun flower seeds, plow more desert land, make the nephews fix the sewage tank and clean the commodes after Thanksgiving, pop more black cats (fire works), sick 44 blood hounds on a wounded baby hippopotamus crippled on land by a shot gun bullet, curse, Play more blues and
Polish more Cadillac's than ole Jimmy Kanada huh?


 

Add a Comment

These HTML tags are permitted: p, b, i, a, and blockquote. A comment may not include more than three links. Participants in this discussion should note the site's moderation policy.