Statement Of Roger Hickey On The State Of The Union

WASHINGTON – Campaign for America’s Future Co-Director Roger Hickey released the following statement in response to President Bush’s State of the Union Address tonight. The Campaign for America’s Future is coordinating the efforts of labor unions and advocacy groups for civil rights, women, senior citizens and people with disabilities to counter the president’s Social Security blitz this week.

STATEMENT OF ROGER HICKEY

Once again President Bush has bet his presidency and the political fate of Republicans in Congress on a Social Security privatization plan with details he refused to talk about. No wonder many members of his own party are refusing to follow the president off that particular political and policy cliff.

In his speech tonight, President Bush refused to level with the American people about the destructive and unpopular specifics of his plan to privatize Social Security. He didn’t talk about his plan for achieving solvency because that will require dramatic and painful cuts in guaranteed benefits.

President Bush called for diverting part of our Social Security taxes into risky private accounts, but he didn’t explain that this would blow a big hole in Social Security’s finances — requiring the government to borrow over 2 trillion dollars in the first 10 years just to finance the retirement benefits of today’s retirees.

And it is no wonder seniors want to fight Bush’s privatization plan when they hear his promises that their Social Security benefits won’t be cut. They are smart enough to know that benefits would come under the budget knife if Congress follows Bush’s plan to divert the taxes that go to pay for their retirement, add trillions of dollars to the national debt, and make the tax cuts for the rich permanent. When Americans hear those assurances, they want to fight the Bush privatization plan.

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