I guess it’s time that we worried about the future of Social Security--again. It is the last big plum of FDR’s New Deal that the GOP hasn’t been able to squash--yet. In fact, it hasn’t been until recently that the rightwing has had the courage to even broach the subject. The recent creation of the so-called Debt Commission and Obama’s choice of two anti-Social Security co-chairs opened the door wide for scary and inaccurate talk about Social Security’s so-called dubious financial future.
The recent GOP obsession with the national debt added fuel to this hysterical talk, although the federal income stream is totally separated from the Social Security funds. But never mind, the more hysteria the better, according to the devious rightwing plotters and planners who have long since realized that frightened people rush to find easy solutions and rarely say, “Hey, Just a minute!”
The slight difficulty that the fund might experience as the Baby Boomer generation reaches retirement age can easily be eased by raising the payroll cap on the higher earners. Of course, they will scream and yell, but so be it. Why must we always listen only to their yelps and not the pain of the poor?
The new batch of reactionary GOP/Tea Party governors have learned that screaming about budget deficits and predicting impending doom gives them a rationale for doing what their corporate masters would like, viz. cut wages, cut jobs, cut projects that help the poor, cut, cut, cut. And the best place to start is to hobble the unions by eliminating their power to organize, to strike, and to bargain for better working conditions and wages. Also, their plutocrat handlers keep chanting deregulate, deregulate, deregulate.
It’s interesting to note that the first openly-announced GOP 2012 Presidential candidate, ex- Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, has reported that he has filed papers to form an exploratory committee to run for the nomination. This is what he said up front: [Here] [The emphasis is mine.]
We know what we need to do -- grow jobs, limit government spending, and tackle entitlements.
I’d say that was nailing his platform high enough so all can see it, wouldn’t you? By tackling entitlements--Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security--Pawlenty means cutting them. Let’s make no mistake about what Pawlenty’s subtext is.
The same day that I read Pawlenty’s announcement, I read this heading in a story in TPM: [Here]
White House To Remain Mum In Social Security Fight -- Until Congress Comes Up With a Plan
The article goes on to say that it’s the White House thinking that Obama should sit back and let the Republicans beat each other up on this. [Here]
...it's part of a broader political and policy strategy the administration is employing to keep Obama's powder dry while Republicans struggle to reduce deficits without increasing revenues in any meaningful way.
I’m sure that TPM’s reporter Brian Beutler has the story right, but what a shame. Aren’t you tired of important policy matters that affect millions of lives being treated like a high stakes poker game? Yes, I hear that Obama is a gifted poker player, but, darn it, he doesn’t have my permission to gamble with my Social Security check. The quality of my life and millions like me should not be a game.
Whatever his plan is, let’s hear it. Isn’t that what leadership is?
Come on, Mr. President. Speak up. I dare you...