For Release: May 10, 2005
Contact: David Almasi at (202) 507-6398 x11
Blacks Back Bush on Social Security Reform
Allowing Personal Investment and Control Retirement Savings Called a Benefit for Black America
Black activists from the Project 21 leadership network applaud President George W. Bush's calls to reform Social Security by allowing people to directly control a portion of their payroll taxes and be able to transfer these funds to others upon their death.
In 2017, Social Security trustees expect the funds being paid out of the program will surpass funds paid into it. The program is expected to go bankrupt due to this trend in 2037. In a April 28 press conference, President Bush reiterated his call for allowing younger workers to be able to invest and control a portion of their payroll taxes as a means of creating long-term stability and reform of Social Security.
"Black Americans in particular would benefit from this reform," notes Project 21 member and syndicated columnist Deroy Murdock. "Since we tend to die sooner than other Americans, we typically collect less of our Social Security benefits than do others. Personal retirement accounts would let black Americans enjoy this wealth sooner, and, unlike in today's system, pass it along to their heirs."
Project 21 member Eddie Huff, a financial planner, recently wrote in a New Visions Commentary: "In my experience, black Americans seem least likely to properly plan for and take the necessary actions required to leave an estate behind of any real worth... [S]uccessive generations of African-Americans must start from scratch... The Bush Administration needs to drive home the fact that transferability is a key facet of reform."
Small business owner and Project 21 member Ak'Bar Shabazz says in an upcoming New Visions Commentary: "Ignoring the need to reform Social Security threatens the future of our youth and the entire country. A mandate to current workers to finance the retirement of older workers while discounting their own future is an irresponsible one. People must have the choice to allocate at least a small percentage of the Social Security withholdings to fruitful and inheritable investments"
Murdock adds that the Bush proposal would "help black Americans enjoy the benefits of stock ownership, something that should not be a 'whites only' proposition."
Project 21, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization, has been a leading voice of the African-American community since 1992. For more information visit Project 21's website at http://www.project21.org/P21Index.html.
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