President Bush and Senate Democrat Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) announced today a promise to avoid dipping into the Social Security fund to pay for other government expenses. Economists, however, are already predicting that to be fiscally impossible. According to the Congressional Budget Office, given the recent $1.3 trillion tax cut and slowing economy, the federal government will have to take $9 billion out the Social Security program this year, with billions more over the next several years to make up for predicted shortfalls in the government’s budget. The CBO figures do not factor in new spending proposals for the military and education that Bush is expected to introduce this fall.
The stability of Social Security is critical to women, 60% of whom are dependent on Social Security and Medicare, even though sex discrimination in the current system deprives women of their legitimate benefits. The Bush plan to privatize Social Security would harm women even more, reducing their benefits even further and putting the entire system at risk.