The Plot Against Social Security: How the Bush Plan Is Endangering Our Financial Future

Michael A. Hiltzik, Author . HarperCollins $24.95 (272p) ISBN 978-0-06-083465-4

A Pulitzer Prize–winning financial journalist for the Los Angeles Times , Hiltzik gathers arguments made by a plethora of economists and skeptics into a comprehensive, biting critique of the privatization agenda and what he calls the "astroturf" alliance of right-wing ideologues, Wall Street opportunists and Republican political operatives that "aims to propagate, and then exploit, public ignorance." Prophecies of the Social Security trust fund's bankruptcy, he finds, are based on dubious and politically biased forecasts; more realistic projections have the trust fund growing nicely over the next 75 years. Even if doomsayers' predictions come true, he notes, the system's solvency can be safeguarded by straightforward fixes; simply lifting the cap on Social Security taxes—thus taxing high-income workers at the same rate as everyone else—would make up Bush's projected shortfall and then some, he says. Hiltzik also reads the fine print of privatization schemes, unearthing what he sees as hidden costs, risks, benefit cuts, bureaucratic pitfalls and wildly optimistic market return predictions for private accounts. The real issue, he contends, is whether the pension system will be a get-rich-quick scheme for the powerful or a collective guarantee that the elderly, the poor, the disabled and the unfortunate will be shielded from the vicissitudes of life. (June)

Reviewed on: 05/23/2005
Release date: 06/01/2005
Open Ebook - 272 pages - 978-0-06-149459-8
Ebook - 272 pages - 978-0-06-188202-9
Ebook - 272 pages - 978-0-06-149465-9
Hardcover - 413 pages - 978-0-7862-8149-7
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 272 pages - 978-0-06-149463-5
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