Gore Plays Soft Cop With ‘Social Security Plus’

Most leaders of organized labor and senior citizen groups have rightfully blasted George W Bush's plan for a partial privatization of Social Security that would slash benefits for millions of future retirees.

Unfortunately, most have also embraced Al Gore's counterproposal—dubbed “Social Security Plus.” Gore would leave present SS benefits untouched, at least for now. But, to give us all a break, he would allocate 100 billion dollars out of projected budget surplus to turn over to individuals for personal investment for retirement.

It's the old hard cop, soft cop routine. First Bush and the Republicans beat us up and threaten to rob us of our benefits, and then soft cop Gore generously agrees to freeze our benefits—and even, call him sport, give us some crumbs left over from our tax money so that we can try our hand at the stock market.

Make no mistake about it—Gore's plan would mean an end to commitment to Social Security. Instead of raiding Social Security, as the Republicans would prefer to do, the Democrats are content to see Social Security gradually whither away. Both parties want to end retirement benefits as en entitlement. Both want to whittle away employer contributions for our retirement. Both want to see American workers toil longer before retiring. Both want to steer public funds to the stock market.

In coming issues we will analyze the schemes of both major parties and present alternatives being developed by the Labor Party and others. In the meantime be wary of the soft cop.