Privatizing Social Security Would Cause Retirees To Lose $
Privatizing Social Security Would
Cause Retirees To Lose $
Assemblymember Brian McLaughlin and Congressmember Gregory Meeks issued warnings last week about a plan of President George W. Bush to allow Social Security members to invest some of their benefits in the stock market.
McLaughlin (D–Flushing), who doubles as president of the 1.1 million-member New York City Central Labor Council, stated:
"Retirees, mostly seniors, generally depend on Social Security as either their sole income or primary income. They can’t depend on the stock market. Maybe you can live like that, but retirees can’t."
He also noted that over the past few years, investing of Social Security funds in stocks would have brought a 60 percent loss.
Bush maintains that investing in stocks over a 45-year-period can more than double monthly benefit checks.
Meeks (D–Southeast Queens) called Social Security benefits the bedrock of his father’s retirement, saying, "I have no idea what my dad would be doing now if he didn’t have Social Security."
McLaughlin and Meeks issued their statements at a meeting in Jamaica with a group of retirees.
Democrats in Congress have strongly opposed the Bush privatization proposal as too risky and likely to lessen members’ benefits in general because money would be diverted from the Social Security benefits pool.
VALLONE JR. PROTESTS: A short time ago, Ditmars Boulevard between 21st and 23rd Streets in Astoria was repaved with a smooth, new surface. But not long after, Con Edison opened a curb-to-curb trench, to make some repairs. Although Con Ed will eventually close the trench, some ugly scars will be left on the street.
Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr. isn’t happy with the situation and is questioning the legality of it.
"To have a utility open the street again adds to the noise and inconvenience, as well as leaving residents with a feeling of a waste of tax dollars," the Astoria lawmaker pointed out. The trend also may violate Local Law 14, says Vallone Jr. (D).
He said that the law states, "No permit to use or open any street, except for emergency work, shall be issued to any person within a five-year period after the completion of resurfacing or reconstruction unless such person demonstrates that the need for the work could not have reasonably been anticipated prior to or during such construction."
Vallone Jr. has taken his complaint to Department of Transportation Commissioner Iris Weinshall, asking that the DOT "review procedures already in place to ensure they are properly followed and thus avoid this situation from reoccurring in the future."
MAYOR JOINS ‘CLEM-ENCY’ OPPOSITION: Recently, Councilmember Tony Avella (D–Bayside) and Vallone Jr. denounced a resolution introduced in the Council to release so-called "political prisoners," such as a former Black Panther cop killer.
Last week, Mayor Michael Bloomberg joined Vallone Jr. and Avella in opposition to the clemency resolution. He wrote the state Division of Parole chairman urging that Antony Bottom, a killer convicted of murdering two police officers in 1971, be denied parole. Bottom is scheduled for a parole hearing at the end of this month.
The mayor, responding to a request from Diane Pragentini, the widow of one of the slain officers, wrote that Bottom’s crime was unforgivable. "Its consequences will remain forever" on the dead men’s families and the New York Police Department, he declared.
"Because he so callously stole these officers’ lives," Bloomberg wrote, "Bottom should serve the maximum sentence without parole."
FREEDOM SYMBOL USED TO SELL LOTTO GAME, PADAVAN COMPLAINS: State Senator Frank Padavan (R–C, Bellerose) has written to the state Lottery Director demanding that sales of a lottery game be suspended because they have illustrations of American Bald Eagles on the tickets.
Padavan, a constant critic of the lottery and legalized gambling, said he found it offensive but not surprising that the Lottery would use "an enduring symbol of American freedom" to market a $5 ticket for an instant game called Double Eagle.
Padavan declared, "This just fits with their pattern of using whatever means necessary to increase sales. They’ve had campaigns to convince us they’re all about education and they’ve run scratch-off games centered around the holidays, even religious ones, so this is just par for the course."
Padavan pointed out that the American Bald Eagle appears on the New York state flag, on the United States Seal, and on the Seal of New York state.
BLOOD DRIVE: Councilmembers Tony Avella and Dennis Gallagher (R–C, Middle Village) have joined with the Bayside Community Volunteer Ambulance Corps in Avella’s district to sponsor a blood drive this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the corps’ headquarters, 214-23 42nd Ave., Bayside.
The drive is in support of Genevieve Hrubes, a two-year-old child who is suffering from leukemia. Avella urged residents interested in participating to call his office at (718) 747-2137 to arrange an appointment to donate blood. In addition to blood donations, a special platelet van will be on site to accept platelet donations, Avella said. Donors must call to make an appointment to donate.
CUOMO LEADS McCALL IN POLL: Bouncing back from a previous poll, Democratic gubernatorial contender Andrew Cuomo now leads fellow Democrat H. Carl McCall by a 47 percent to 32 percent count in the latest Quinnipiac University survey.
But the pair, who’ll settle the issue of who will be the party’s candidate in the September 10 primary, still trail Governor George Pataki badly. The governor leads Cuomo 57 percent to 30 percent, and McCall by 55 percent to 28 percent. The governor also leads both by a lesser but still comfortable margin when independent Thomas Golisano is thrown into the mix.
Cuomo had a smaller lead against McCall in a previous poll which was taken after the former federal housing secretary had derided Pataki’s role in the post-September 11 recovery period. Just prior to the most recent poll, Cuomo conducted a $1 million statewide television advertising campaign.