From the March 2004 Idaho Observer:
Greenspan shoots sacred Social Security cow
Witnesses claim poor animal already down
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In what at least one observer believes is and endgame move in series of moves to fleece Americans of a larger percentage of their earnings, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan suggested that Social Security payments be reduced.
Greenspan's Feb. 28, 2004 announcement comes at a time when Americans are struggling under the weight of a $7.2 trillion deficit, a struggling economy and personal debt. New York Times Op/Ed columnist Paul Krugman observed, Greenspan pushed through an increase in taxes on working Americans, generating a Social Security surplus. Then he used that surplus to argue for tax cuts that deliver very little relief to most people, but are worth a lot to those making more than $300,000 a year. And now that those tax cuts have contributed to a soaring deficit, he wants to cut Social Security benefits. The point, of course, is that if anyone had tried to sell this package honestly -- Let's raise taxes and cut benefits for working families so we can give big tax cuts to the rich! -- voters would have been outraged. So the class warriors of the right engaged in bait-and-switch.
Krugman provided an overview of moves Greenspan has made over the last few years to maneuver the nation's finances into their present state.
Considering how Greenspan has steered financial policy into $7.2 trillion in debt, one can only pray that incompetence is to blame for what appears to be an economic disaster. In the absence of incompetence we, all other motives imply criminal intent.
Though Social Security retirement benefits pay significantly less than government employee retirements and most private retirement plans, Social Security is viewed by many Americans as a sacred institution. Greenspan's recommendation that Congress reduce Social Security was not well received by those who depend upon it.
The subhead to this article borrows a term coined recently during the mad cow scare. A down cow is too sick to walk any more.
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