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White House Moves Disability Benefits to The Chopping Block

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For Immediate Release
May 13, 2005

Contact: Karen Finney


Washington, DC - A day after the chief White House economist admitted that the Bush plan to privatize Social Security would include cuts to survivor benefits, the Bush administration also acknowledged that it would not protect disability benefits despite earlier assurances that these earned benefits would remain untouched. This is the latest trial balloon in the Bush administration's real plan to dismantle Social Security. The announcement may help explain why a new Harris poll found that only 36 percent of Americans think President Bush's "comments on saving and strengthening Social Security are his real motives for changing the program, while 49% believe his real agenda is to dismantle it." [Wall Street Journal, 5/13/05]

"For the second day in a row, the Bush administration has admitted that despite past assurances, they never intended to protect Social Security disability and survivor benefits," said DNC spokesman Josh Earnest. "From steep benefit cuts for the middle class, to risky private accounts, and now no protections for disability or survivor benefits, it's becoming clearer every day that Bush's real plan is to dismantle Social Security."

Bush: Disability Benefits Won't Be Cut. "[Bush] said he has no plans to cut benefits for the approximately 40 percent of Social Security recipients who collect monthly disability and survivor payments as he prepares his plan for partial privatization." [Washington Post, 1/16/05]

Bush Administration Won't Protect Disability Benefits. "Future Social Security retirement benefits for disabled workers is a matter for negotiations with Congress as it drafts solvency legislation," the Bush administration said Thursday, declining to say whether they should be raised, lowered or left unchanged. "Any plan that maintains current disability benefits will need to address the transition to retirement, and those details will be worked out through the legislative process," said White House spokesman Trent Duffy. [AP, 5/13/05]

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