Most Americans opposed to Bush’s Social Security, Iraq policies

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The majority of Americans don’t agree with the priorities of President George W. Bush and his administration when it comes to domestic or foreign issues, and his plans to revamp Social Security, according to a recent Gallup poll.

The poll showed that 51 percent of Americans who participated in the poll felt it was a bad idea to allow individuals to invest in private accounts. The poll also showed the number of people who disagreed rise to 69 percent when they were told that the new plan would also result in a reduction of government benefits.

When it came to the war in Iraq, the poll showed respondents agreeing with the overall efforts to restore Iraq, but many still felt out of the loop when it came to plans for getting out.

Heberto Sanchez, former president of the Eastside Democratic Club in Los Angeles, said the idea to change Social Security is a mistake.

One reason is because there is no alternative plan in case something goes wrong with private accounts, he said.

“What happens if the market goes down?” Sanchez said. “There’s no safety net.”

Although improvements can be made to the current system, it has worked pretty well for everyone, Sanchez said. There are many things that can be looked into to improve it, but nothing has been done, and probably won’t be done, he said.

The Bush administration is trying to use the idea that people would be better off learning how to manage their own money, but that is a misconception, Sanchez said. That isn’t to say Americans aren’t capable of doing so, but if they want, they can use separate money, he said.

Will Hutson, political director of the Republican Party in Orange County, said the biggest thing to remember is that the federal government is not going to leave anyone empty-handed. Hutson said Bush’s plan is to put the control back into the hands of the taxpayers and consumers, where it belongs, rather than with the government.

The Republican Party feels taxpayers and consumers should be trusted to make their own decisions about their money, Hutson said.

“We’re trying to create a system that is win-win,” he said. “A little more opportunity and flexibility (for people) to manage their money.”

Parks Riley, CSUN political science professor, said the war in Iraq was a big problem, causing more harm than good, especially when looking at the death toll, and the damage the war has done to the reputation of the United States.

The primary reason for going to war in the first place was weapons of mass destruction, but none were ever found, he said.

Sanchez said it is hard to really understand what is going on in Iraq, because the Bush administration has done a great job in manipulating what is presented in the media.

“We are not getting the true picture of what is really going on,” he said.

Although there has been some reform in Iraq, Sanchez said it has not been legitimate, and the few improvements are not justified.

Hutson said there have been many accomplishments, and the United States has helped establish democracy and freedom, which was of prime importance.

“We’re doing exactly what we should do,” he said. “Taking the fight to their backyard. We should make our presence felt by keeping the battle there.”

There has been a lot of pressure to announce when the United States plans to get out of Iraq, but that would be a “stupid” idea, Hutson said. It is a game of strategy, and if everyone knows when the United States plans to leave, it is giving the enemy the upper hand, he said.

Riley said it is evident by the polls that Americans’ priorities are very different from what the Bush administration has planned.

Many Americans are looking for more attention to be paid to their main concerns of job security and better healthcare, Riley said.