Saturday, May 21, 2005

My letter to Congressman Wexler

Several days ago Congressman Rober Wexler offered his plan to "save" Social Security, breaking ranks with the Democratic Party leadership to do so. This is a copy of the letter I sent him.

May 21, 2005

Congressman Robert Wexler
Palm Beach County Office
2500 North Military Trail • Suite 100 • Boca Raton, FL 33431

Re: your recent Social Security proposal

Dear Congressman Wexler,

You aren’t my Congressman, but you are screwing with MY Social Security. I am retired and living on the benefits right now. I want my children and grandchildren to be as fortunate.

I don’t know who got to you, but your freelancing could be a major element in allowing the Republicans to get what they want – the destruction of the Social Security system.

Your plan isn’t a very bad one, but Robert Ball’s “Century Foundation Issue Brief” ( ) is a lot better. Go look at it. Then remember, when you deal with the Republicans, you get what they want you to get. Nothing more. And they won’t tell you want that want you to get because you won’t like it. Ask my recent Congressman, Martin Frost.

There is no serious problem with Social Security other than a political effort by the Republicans to destroy it. Think otherwise? Here are two points (among many) to consider.

1) If productivity stays at or near historical levels, there is no need to do one damn thing to fix SS, so buying into the Republican line that the program is in crisis is a bad idea. It is like an insurance salesman telling you all the risks you face just before he offers you his (over priced and under performing) insurance product.

2) Even if one were to want to guarantee the future financial sustainability of Social Security into perpetuity (not a bad idea in the abstract) by eliminating the cap, do you seriously think that any bill which touches SS will (a) get through a Republican Extremist Congress and Joint Committee without turning into privatization, and (b) be implemented in a competent way by the lunatics running the country now?

There are good Republicans, but even the good ones will do whatever it takes to destroy the Democratic Party, destroy Social Security, and support Tom DeLay and his crew. I don’t know if you have been bought, frightened or scammed, but you are not helping Social Security or yourself.

If you want a reasonable selection of writings on the Social Security Issue, try my blog (Social Security Notes - ). I speak for myself, and do not belong to any political organization other than the Democratic Party. I link to a lot of good articles and sources, and I worked for Social Security as a Claims Representative for eight years, so I have some idea of what is fact, what is politics, and what is pure hot air. Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo ( ) is also an outstanding source.

Get together with the Democratic leadership to see how you can extricate yourself from the mess you have stepped in. And do it soon. We Democrats will soon have an organization similar to the Republican “Club for Growth” that penalizes freelancers. You will be high on the list for action if you don’t do something.


Richard Brewer

Copy sent to:

Congressman Robert Wexler
213 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515


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