Monday, January 17, 2005

War on Facts (Holiday Edition)

In honor of the sacrifice made by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for the citizens of this country, President Bush has decided to target one of his insidious pieces of propaganda at the African American population. The Star Tribune has the report:
Of all the lies -- let's call them by their right name -- that the Bush administration is spreading about Social Security, none is as vile as the canard Bush repeated last Tuesday, when he said, "African-American males die sooner than other males do, which means the [Social Security] system is inherently unfair to a certain group of people. And that needs to be fixed." That is an entirely phony assertion; it has been debunked by the Social Security Administration, by the Government Accountability Office and by other experts. Bush and those around him know that. For them to repeat what they know to be a blatant lie is despicable fear-mongering.
...[The faulty study by the Heritage Foundation upon which Bush bases his remark] failed to factor in the progressivity of Social Security benefits; on a taxes-paid to benefits-received ratio, those with lower incomes get more back. Blacks tend to earn less than whites, and thus their Social Security benefits are larger in comparison to taxes they pay.
...[Furthermore,] Social Security is more than retirement benefits. It also includes survivor and disability benefits. Blacks benefit disproportionately from those programs. While blacks are 11 percent of the workforce, for example, they are 18 percent of those receiving disability benefits. Almost half the blacks receiving Social Security -- 47 percent -- are getting disability benefits or survivor benefits.
Remember a couple of years ago, the White House honored this holiday by submitting an amicus brief in the Michigan case against affirmative action. Now they use this moment to announce, in albeit indirect and deceptive form, their intention to deprive African Americans of one of their most beneficial social programs.

As for the truth about Social Security, see also this article by Roger Lowenstein in the New York Times Magazine.


Post a Comment

<< Home