One of the worst moves that George W. Bush ever made was to try to turn over Social Security funds to Wall Street, making them vulnerable to the health of the financial markets. President Bush cited a funding gap in Social Security three decades into the future as an excuse for the shift of Social Security funds into the bank accounts of private investors.
That narrowly averted disaster ought to remind voters that the Social Security safety net can easily be torn to shreds by ideological extremism, or by mismanagement. For that reason, the vice presidential candidacy of Sarah Palin is the cause for some alarm. Republicans say that Sarah Palin has executive experience, but an examination of that experience, reveals a history of financial mismanagement of retirement funds.
For example, when Sarah Palin became mayor of the village of Wasilla, the village’s pension funds were healthy – funded at 97.5 percent of its obligation, with just a 4.3 percent unfunded liability (measured as a percentage of payroll). By 2002, however, Wasilla’s pension funds were in a shambles. The funding of the village’s pension obligations had dropped dramatically to just 73 percent, and the unfunded pension liability Wasilla faced had risen to 52 percent.
We all know that John McCain is the most elderly candidate for President ever – and the chances are good that he would not survive his time in the White House if he is elected in November. The death of John McCain could make Sarah Palin President of the United States as early as January 2009.
If that succession takes place, Sarah Palin will be in control of the Social Security funds that prevent millions of elderly, disabled and widowed Americans from being kicked out onto the streets. Given Palin’s history of financial mismanagement of pension funds, the economic and social fabric of the USA would be placed in severe risk if she became President.
(Sources: Wasilla Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports, 1996 and 2003)