Quotes - Repeat Offender (4% Sounds Smaller Than One-third)
"In my line of work you gotta keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kinda catapult the propaganda." - Dubya, May 24, 2005

4% Sounds Smaller Than One-third
This repeat offense features Dubya confusing the terms "income" and "payroll tax" in explaining his proposed Social Security privatization scheme. This transition from explaining that his plan proposes to allow people to invest 4% of their income (i.e. nearly one-third of the 12.4% of their income which currently goes into the Social Security system), to saying 4% of their payroll taxes, which is wholly inaccurate and misleading, somehow strikes me as something more than an unintentional misstatement.

First, a more correct explanation of the proposal, from earlier in the campaign...
The way the system works -- in order to make it work fiscally, is that you can start off with $1,000 into your account growing $100 a year up to 4 percent of your income. That's to answer your question. The idea is ultimately there will be -- if you're making $90,000, you can put $3,600 a year into your personal account. That's how you keep it more affordable than the numbers that have been -- being tossed about. (Feb. 3, 2005)

Now, the wording used subsequently...

  1. Now, the program that we're suggesting to Congress is that personal accounts start slowly so that we can better fund the transition to personal accounts, and that eventually, though, workers should be able set 4 percent of their payroll taxes aside in a personal account. So assuming that the 4 percent level is reached, a person earning $35,000 a year over their lifetime, setting aside 4 percent of the money, with the compounding rate of interest, by the time he or she retires, will have a nest egg of $250,000. (Feb. 10, 2005)
  2. If you're a younger worker, and say my proposal is, is that you can put 4 percent of your payroll taxes in the account, and the rest of it, obviously, will go into the Social Security system. If you're a younger worker who averages $35,000 over your lifetime, and you put the money set aside the 4 percent allowed to be set aside into a personal account, because of the compounding rate of interest, that will accumulate you'll accumulate $250,000 when it comes time to retire. (Feb. 16, 2005)
  3. Do you realize that if you're a person who earns an average of $35,000 a year over your working career, $35,000, and you're allowed to take put 4 percent of the money, the payroll tax aside in a personal account and you hold it over time, that when you retire, you'll save a quarter-of-a-million dollars? (Mar. 4, 2005)
4% Sounds Smaller Than One-third > The American People

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