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It's gotten to the point where I assume everything the rightwing says is a lie.  I was watching O'Reilly last night and he was talking to a very nice lasy who is an advocate for the homeless.  She was talking about how soup kitchens were turning people away.  O'Reilly started quoting statistics that Bush had increased funding 1000%.  All I could think of is BULLSHIT.  

Anyway, here is the reserach I did on the Brit Hume affair.  I must give credit where credit is due.  Crooks and Liars linked to Instpundit who linked to a government report.

According to the report, the voluntary annuity section of the bill was voted out of the bill by the Republicans on the Ways and Means Committee.  Here is the proposal before the committee hearings:

"The voluntary system of old-age annuities we suggest as a supplement to the compulsory plan contemplates that the Government shall sell to individuals, on a cost basis, deferred life annuities similar to those issued by commercial insurance companies; that is, in consideration of premiums paid at specified ages, the Government would guarantee the purchasers a definite amount of income, starting at 65, for example, and continuing throughout the lifetime of the annuitant. The primary purpose of the plan is to offer persons not included within the compulsory system a systematic and safe method of providing for their old age. It could also be used by insured persons as a means of supplementing the old-age income provided under the compulsory plan.

Without attempting to outline in detail the terms under which Government annuities should be sold, it is believed that a satisfactory and workable plan, based on the following principles, could be developed without great difficulty:

  1. The plan should be self-supporting, and premiums and benefits should be kept in actuarial balance by any necessary revision of the rates which periodic examinations of the experience would indicate.
  2. The terms of the plan should be kept as simple as practicable in the interest of economical administration and to minimize misunderstanding on the part of individuals utilizing these arrangements. This could be accomplished by limiting the types of annuity offered to two or three of the most important standard forms.
  3. The plan should be designed primarily for the same economic groups as those covered by the compulsory system; hence, provision should be made for the acceptance of relatively small premiums (as little as $1 per month) and the maximum annuity payable to any individual should be limited to the actuarial equivalent of $50 per month.
  4. The plan should be administered by the social insurance board along with the compulsory old-age-insurance system, but as a separate undertaking.
  5. The social insurance board should study the feasibility of Government contribution toward the annuities of people now middle aged or older with income of $2,500 per year or less who come under this voluntary plan . . ."

So, that we have is a seperate plan meant for people not included in the original plan.  The government would sell annuties to people not covered by the original plan.  Essentially the government would sell annuities to people not covered by the plan.

House Ways and Means Republicans voted the voluntary system down in committee.  The Senate Finance Committee wanted information on the package, so here is the information provided to the Senate Finance Committee

Consequently, a more-detailed version of the voluntary provision was included as Title XI of the Finance Committee Report. The provision as proposed by the Finance Committee was:

    * The Secretary of the Treasury was authorized to issue Unite States Annuity Bonds;
    * The bonds could be purchased by the public in cash, in exchange for Savings Bonds, or by installment payments;
    * The bonds were to be redeemable for an annuity in installments, under varying terms;
    * The bonds were to return no more than a 3% investment yield;
    * The bonds were to be tax-exempt, but the annuity payments were not;
    * The bonds were not transferable or assignable "in law or in equity;"
    * The income from the sale of the annuities were public-debt receipts, and the payments were to come from the Treasury as public-debt redemptions, using any money "not otherwise appropriated;"
    * The sale of the annuities was to be through the Post Office Departmen.

      So....the government was to sell individual annuities is the form of bonds.

     BRIT: FUCK YOU Bonddad

Originally posted to bonddad on Thu Feb 17, 2005 at 02:46 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Brit must go (none)
    A nifty graphic and relevant links are diaried here.
  •  Brit Hume (none)
    We should marshal our facts and email the NY Times ( and Howie Kurtz over at WaPo.  

    If the Times blows this off, the we should email the Public Editor asking why this story is not covered.  As the NY Times noted today, PBS is under attack from conservatives, it should be a story when Fox News is under attack from liberals.

  •  Recommended! (none)
    I have been so confused by the explanations I have seen on this three part plan, even when FDR's grandson explained it.  I wasn't immediately convinced that Brit Hume had really got it wrong or if he did, why it was so glaringly obvious to Al Franken but not to me.  My indignant meter just didn't go up. And if I've been paying attention and still didn't quite get all of the fuss, the average Joe certainly wasn't going to see any big deal here - certainly nothing worth Brit Hume's resignation.

      Now it finally makes sense - the annuities were meant to cover the folks who weren't going to be covered by the compulsory system.  Of course!!  We know that the compulsory portion of Social Security was deliberately designed not to cover domestics (most of whom were black) or (I think) farm workers.  Obviously, it also could not directly cover people whose employment was uncompensated - i.e. housewives.  It makes sense FDR would have wanted to provide at least some opportunity for those un-covered folks to get a secure retirement somehow.  It also makes total sense that the Republicans of his day wouldn't have wanted anyone competing with the private insurance companies, so they killed it.  This is the best explanation, and best frame I have seen of the whole issue.  It makes it so simple.  Thanks!!

  •  studying? (none)
    I thought you were supposed to be studying for the bar.....
    but thanks for the explanation.
    •  Still doint that as well (none)
      If I don't take any breaks, I will go crazy.

      You think you can intimidate me? Screw you. Choose your weapon. -- Eliot Spitzer

      by bonddad on Fri Feb 18, 2005 at 08:20:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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