To the editor:
Mr. Flory's letter (Public Forum, Jan. 14) ignores several realities in speculating on what his retirement benefits would be if all his Social Security payments had been made instead to private mutual funds.
Bush's plan will gradually reduce Social Security payments to 45 percent of current payments to all beneficiaries whether or not they opt to privatize part of their payments. The Congressional Budget Office says that the combined benefits of the reduced Social Security and privatized accounts is less than the amount of Social Security if we do nothing. A person who would get annual payments of $23,000 under the current plan; would get $18,000 if we do nothing to correct the shortfall, but only $14,500 with the combined reduced Social Security and privatized account.
The current projected Social Security shortfall is certainly not a crisis. It is roughly the amount of Bush's recent prescription drug benefit, and roughly one-third the amount of Bush's tax cuts, and roughly equal to the amount of tax cuts to the top 1 percent elite.
As the only secure income in the three legged stool, (personal savings/equity and pensions being the others), we need to shore up Social Security for our shared future. If you don't have the moral values to care for those least able to earn a living -- the elderly, those under 18 years of age and the disabled -- you might think about what will happen to you should you become disabled or the stock market crashes or to your young children should you die.