(Editor’s note: This will be one of those very long but very interesting articles full of tidbits of information you need. Please take the time to read the entire article and/or bookmark for later reading and linkage. I am attempting to break this topic of retirement security down into manageable yet related pieces.)
On 10.7.2010, Sen. Tom Harkin held a HELP Committee hearing “to examine retirement security in America”. His full statement from the hearing can be found here. The full video of the hearing can be found here. One of the main witnesses before the committee wasRoss Eisenbrey, Vice President, Economic Policy Institute. His full statement can be found here.
EPI has published and advocated what we feel would be an excellent national supplemental retirement plan, the Guaranteed Retirement Account, which was authored by Prof. Teresa Ghilarducci, Director of the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis at the New School for Social Research. In a nutshell, the GRA would mandate employer and employee contributions to a federally administered cash balance plan. The combined 5% of payroll contributions would be invested by a Thrift Savings Plan-like entity in the bond and stock markets, with a guaranteed minimum return of 3% beyond inflation. A $600 tax credit would cover the entire 2.5% contribution for workers earning $24,000 or less, and greatly reduce the effective contribution rate for other lower-paid workers. We calculate that at the end of a normal working life, the average worker would accumulate, along with Social Security, enough to assure a 70% replacement rate of pre-retirement income. – Ross Eisenbrey
On Social Security:
The trust fund has more than $2 trillion and will be able to pay 100% of promised benefits for another 27 years. Even then, Social Security will not “go broke” but will be able to pay 78% of promised benefits. So the question isn’t how to “save” the program; it will survive without any change. The problem is how to get more money into the trust fund so full benefits can be paid in perpetuity. The goal is, or ought to be, to preserve full benefits and to maximize the retirement income of the tens of millions of households that depend on Social Security. – Ross Eisenbrey
“For many Americans, the only retirement security they have is Social Security, but that, too, is under siege. There are those that want to privatize the system, cut back benefits and raise the retirement age. They say that everyone should just work longer and that retirement is a ‘luxury.’ Clearly, those people do not swing a hammer for a living. They do not toil in our corn fields or work on our oil rigs. For Americans who work in these physically demanding jobs, working longer simply is not an option. A lifetime of hard work takes its toll, and at some point, a person just cannot do it anymore. – Sen. Tom Harkin on Retirement Security
Would any of this be the case if The Federal Reserve had not devalued our dollar by 96% since its inception in 1913, and given the US Congress a credit card chaining Americans to foreign countries with debt?
THE MAIN PLAYERS
The main players in this little drama are Teresa Ghilarducci and her Guaranteed Retirement Accounts paper, the Economic Policy Institute, SEIU, Retirement USA, and the New School of Social Research.
In his opening statement to the committee, Mr. Eisenbrey stated, “EPI is a non-partisan think tank with a long history of analyzing trends in employment, compensation, and income, as well as advocating for policies to ensure shared prosperity.” After you look at the board for EIP, will you wonder as I did if they are truly non-partisan?
Please make sure to thank Bill Clinton (Progressive(D)) and Newt Gingrich (Progressive(R)) for giving us the WTO and free trade…look how it has balanced the world.
We created global trade. We created global finances. We created global companies, but we forgot to create a global government. – Andy Stern (SEIU)
Wow – Glenn has joined the rest of the tinfoil hat wearing crowd that realizes that the universe usually has an intrinsic balance, and when events are out of kilter; there’s a good reason why. I do believe that Glenn has become a devout believer in ‘if it looks like a duck…‘ For example: if it looks like Obama and the progressives are trying to dismantle America economically, meanwhile giving broad new powers over American citizens to the United Nations and giving billions of dollars away to foreign countries – well then, Chairman Zero and Co. may just be trying to globally redistribute American wealth. Welcome aboard Glenn…we’ve been waiting for you to start telling the whole truth. (Excellent show today.)
In the third video (this is continuous play) a Koolaid drinker asked Obama if this was the best she could expect because she was tired of defending him and his agenda. A word to the wise? The Tea Party Patriots are not crazy and we respectfully request that you put down the pitchers! This IS the beginning of a new reality that is only going downhill from here if this progressive Congress and White House are allowed to burn down the country.
At any other time I would probably be cheering, but in this instance, it’s the pot calling the kettle black and the exact same Alinsky tactics that ACORN used to make banks succumb to writing bad mortgages. Don’t misunderstand me though, I dislike Goldman Sachs and their henchmen immensely, but on this issue, there are actual people with families behind those bonuses, and it isn’t communist Amerika yet. Meanwhile, SEIU is making chumps out of their members.
About 100 protesters gathered outside the Washington offices of investment banking giant Goldman Sachs, demanding the company donate its $23 billion in bonuses to help struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure.
The protesters, organized by Service Employees Union International and Public Citizen, came armed with “wanted” posters for Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein and a big red homemade vampire squid puppet, replete with fangs and cloak, that every so often tried to wrap its tentacles around a globe on a stick, acting out Rolling Stone writer Matt Taibbi’s description of the company as a “great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity.”
The protesters ended their rally by delivering a poster-sized letter addressed to Blankfein proposing the donation of the firm’s entire bonus pool to stop foreclosures. “Donating the entire Goldman Sachs 2009 nonus pool would prevent every single anticipated foreclosure in America in 2010, and Goldman Sachs would lift one million American families out of poverty at the same time,” the letter said. The letter also chided the company for playing “a central role in the economic collapse.”
So let me understand this; ACORN got these homeowners into this mess and now SEIU wants Goldman Sachs employees to clean up the mess. What part of the American paradigm of personal responsibility is being applied here by either ACORN or SEIU?
Asked why SEIU was targeting Goldman when it was one of the companies that actually returned the billions it got from the Troubled Asset Relief Program, SEIU president Andy Stern told POLITICO that Goldman received tens of billions in other federal assistance, including about $12 billion via the AIG bailout as a counterparty to the mega insurer, which the federal government made whole.
“They’ve done very well. America came to their rescue when they needed it now America needs help,” Stern said.
The same Andy Stern who has visited the White House more than anyone else since the pResident was installed.