Friday, February 11, 2005

Now We Know How To Vote On Social Security 

Because black's life expectancy is shorter than whites the current social security system unfairly discriminates against the first group since in general they will receive benefits for fewer years. Today, writing in the Washington Post, Michael Fletcher presents these statistics:

Black Americans' life expectancy is 72.3 years -- more than five years shorter than for whites. Black men die even sooner, living an average of 68.8 years, compared with 75.1 years for white men.

The President recently used these figures to justify allowing people to open private social security accounts:

"If you really think about that, you have people putting money in the system that aren't -- families won't benefit from the system," Bush said last month in an interview with The Washington Post. "And, therefore, it seems to me to make sense, if I were a part of a group of people that were being disadvantaged by the Social Security system, that I'd at least like to have the opportunity to have some of the money I put in the system passable to my family."

Seems to make perfect sense. But not to Jesse Jackson:

"This move on Social Security is really an attack on Roosevelt," Jesse L. Jackson said. "It reflects the extreme right-wing ideology that says there should be no roof for the wealthy and no floor for the poor."

With this comment, we now know which side to support.

P.S. The article has a nice quote by Gwendolyn King, wife of Colbert King:

"Private accounts could be a plus to anyone whose demographics suggest they are in the workforce, they pay contributions but they pass on before they are able to draw down benefits," said Gwendolyn King, a former Social Security commissioner who served on a bipartisan panel that recommended the creation of the accounts during Bush's first term.

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