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Progress for America Misinformation on Social Security

An email sent out by Progress for America:

Dear PFA Supporter,

We need your help to save Social Security!

Although Social Security is sound for today's seniors, it lacks the resources to pay promised benefits to younger workers. While there were 16 workers per retiree in 1950, there are only three workers per retiree today and the government will begin to pay out more in benefits than it receives in payroll taxes by 2018. Further, unless we act now, the Social Security Trust Fund will be totally bankrupt by 2042 when today's younger workers begin to retire.

The longer we wait to fix Social Security for our children and grandchildren, the more difficult and costly it will be to solve the problem! In fact, the cost to reform Social Security increases $600 billion every year we delay reform.

Thankfully, President Bush and congressional leaders have the courage to make reforming Social Security - through the creation of voluntary personal retirement accounts - their top priority for 2005.

Here are some indisputable facts about Social Security:

• The Time is Now! The cost to reform Social Security increases $600 billion every year we fail to act;

• The Baby Boomers are Coming! Social Security is a pay-as-you-go system and 76 million baby boomers will begin to retire in less than 5 years. While there were 16 workers per retiree in 1950, there are just 3 workers per retiree today and soon there will only be two workers per retiree;

• "Doing Nothing" is Not An Option! The Social Security Trust Fund will begin to pay out more in benefits than it receives in payroll taxes by 2018 and it is projected to run out of money by 2042 if we do not act now;

• Massive Shortfalls. The Social Security Trustees estimate a shortfall of more than $10.4 trillion in order to meet Social Security's obligations and make it permanently solvent;

• Personal Nest Egg. Voluntary personal retirement accounts would provide younger workers - especially workers who could not otherwise afford to save - with a nest egg they can call their own, government cannot take away and they can pass on to their children;

• Optional. Voluntary personal retirement accounts would be 100% voluntary and future retirees have the option of staying in the current system;

• Good Investment. While retirees received a 114% return on their investment in Social Security in 1940, they only receive 1.7% today. Voluntary personal retirement accounts provide younger workers with a better vehicle to save and invest for their retirement; and,

• Protecting Today's Seniors. Reform will not change Social Security for those at or near retirement.

Progress for America (PFA) is working to support efforts to reform and modernize Social Security. PFA launched a new television ad - called "Courage" - which outlines the fundamental problems facing Social Security and applauds our leaders for having the courage to finally address them. We also began a telephone and email program to let Congress know that the American people support their efforts.

This week, PFA is gathering petition signatures to let Congress know that the American people support reforming Social Security now. Please take a minute to sign our Social Security petition today and urge your family, friends, neighbors and coworkers to do the same.

Unfortunately, some Washington special interest groups are more concerned with scaring seniors and demonizing Social Security reform than actually solving the problem. Indeed, some people in Washington continue to deny that there is even a problem. AARP has already spent $5 million attacking reform and other liberal interest groups have announced their intentions to join the fray. Incredibly, these groups will spend more than $100 million trying to convince Congress to "do nothing."

We need your help to counter their efforts and save Social Security! There are countless ways you can help and your support will send our leaders a message before it is too late. Please consider doing one or more of the following:

• Contact your Senators and Congressman to demand action now;

• Visit PFA's website to sign our petition;

• Visit PFA's website to make a financial contribution which will pay for future TV ads, mail and phone programs;

• Forward this email to five friends and urge them to join our efforts.

At the very least, let President Bush and Congress know that you want them to reform and protect Social Security by signing our petition.

We must deliver 100,000 petition signatures to Congress this week to send a message that reforming Social Security is too important to wait. Otherwise, our leaders will only hear from those want to pass Social Security's problems on to future generations.

So far, President Bush and congressional leaders are showing great courage in promoting reform and supporting voluntary personal retirement accounts. Please sign our petition today and help make sure that our leaders do not back down.

And after signing the petition, please help us counter the liberal misinformation machine by forwarding this email on to your friends and family.

Thank you for helping to save social security for future generations.

Brian McCabe
Progress for America
Progress for America has close ties to the administration - this email is a dry run of the arguments we'll be hearing over the next months. I am not familiar with the "$600 billion" claim, which is absurd on its face - the program's deficits aren't projected to reach $600 billion/year - paying any deficits with general fund revenue would cost less.


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