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Fri Sep 21, 2012, 04:50 PM

They Don't Want to Save Social Security; They Want to Destroy It

So I was in a debate against my Republican opponent Todd Long a few days ago, and the subject of Social Security came up. He spat out the usual buzzwords about how Social Security is broke, how the Democrats stole all the money from it, etc., etc. I said that he sounded like Chicken Little, but he kept right on going, and then imparted his “solutions.”

By way of background, my opponent paid to publish a book that brings together, in one place, all of his bizarre misconceptions and crackpot schemes. Sort of like “The Thoughts of Chairman Todd.” In his vanity book, on page 136, he histrionically announces that: “Projections indicate that by 2037, the Trust Fund will be exhausted.”

What that actually means is that if absolutely nothing changes for the next 25 years, then we may reach a point when we will have to pay Social Security benefits out of tax revenue or borrowing – the exact same way that we pay for every other federal program – rather than by withdrawals from the Social Security Trust Fund. And if absolutely nothing changes in the next 25 years, and if we don’t raise Social Security taxes at that time, and if we don’t borrow the money, then Social Security benefits – 25 years from now – may drop by 10 or 15 percent. In any event, the revenue generated under current law will be enough to pay for 85 to 90 percent of the benefits under current law. We’re talking about 25 years from now, when I will be 79 years old, if I live that long.

See what I meant by “Chicken Little”? Right now, we have almost 25 million Americans who can’t find full-time work, we have almost 50 million Americans who can’t see a doctor when they’re sick, and he wants us just to forget all about that and concentrate on the year 2037.

But that’s not the worst part. The worst part is that every one of his so-called “solutions” actually would make the problem worse. He wants to raise the age of Social Security eligibility to 72. That’s a 100% benefit cut for people between the ages of 65 and 71. And in his “privatization” scheme, he wants to take away tax revenue for Social Security, and dump it on Wall Street. That really would make it impossible to maintain the current level of benefits. And in his “government guarantee” scheme, he wants the federal government to insure these Wall Street accounts against losses – Wall Street losses that totaled $7 trillion after the 2008 crash.

Listening to all this ridiculous nonsense, I sort of scratched my head, wondering how anyone could think that this would “save” Social Security. And then I realized what was really going on:

He doesn’t want to save Social Security. He wants to destroy it.

My opponent (like Gov. Rick Perry) calls Social Security a “Ponzi scheme” (p. 134). Is that something that he would want to save? He says that Social Security is unconstitutional, simply because it meets “individual needs” (p. 96). Is that something that he would want to save? He evidently thinks that Social Security, like Medicare, is “one generation rob from the next” (p. 141). Is that something that he would want to save?

Answer: No. He doesn’t want to save Social Security; he wants to destroy it. That was my small epiphany at the debate, and that’s what I said. (In candidate debates, a little bit of truth goes a long way.)

And at the same time, I came upon another modest insight: he’s not the only one. In fact, there are huge numbers of Fox-fed, Rove-raised, Koch-coddled candidates and elected officials all over the country, just like him. They think that if they beat their chests and scream loud enough about how they must save Social Security, then they can kill it. It’s perhaps the Biggest Lie of all the Big Lies in American politics today.

My advice to America:

(1) Don’t believe them.
(2) Defeat them.

Courage,

Alan Grayson

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Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 04:54 PM

1. Can you give me a reasonable idea why they want to do this?

This is a program that has worked in the past and works in the presence and will work in the future with some needed, but not, scary changes.

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Response to efhmc (Reply #1)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 05:23 PM

5. The Republicans are envious of the appeal Democratic programs have for the majority of Americans.

Ryan provided a window into their twisted thinking:

Ryan’s strategic plan: privatize Social Security and Medicare in order to convert people from “collectivism” to believers in a “capitalistic individualistic” philosophy. So that there will be “more people on our team” who “won’t listen to” Democrats.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021386294

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Response to pacalo (Reply #5)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 10:15 PM

10. Funny thing is: Social Security and Medicare exists because of the 'Laissez Faire' system

.. and citizens suffered horribly through the 30's for it .... especially the elderly ....

FDR had a vision for the common people, and that vision is how we have lived our lives ever since ...

There is not a SINGLE WORKING PERSON that has ever lived outside of the influence of the New Deal .... (well, unless they are over ninety and still employed ...)

Not a single conservative has ever lived in a United States that was not shaped by the progressive ideals that marked the New Deal agenda ....

Conservatism has NEVER been shown to be a winning system for the common folk .... They have no example of their philosophy ever leading to better lives for everyday Americans .... none whatsoever ....

'Capitalistic individualistic' = rapacious plutocracy that can rob regular people blind ....

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Response to Trajan (Reply #10)

Sat Sep 22, 2012, 08:53 PM

12. And it's amazing how many rightwingers enjoy those New Deal programs while voting against their own

interests.

I love the ones who brag that they got their scooters free due to Medicare.

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Response to efhmc (Reply #1)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 05:26 PM

6. How about "The rich want to own Everything"

If the elderly lose Social Security, they lose the means to pay taxes on their property, so the RICH get to take it away... The "lets give it to wall st." is another way of stealing it.

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Response to efhmc (Reply #1)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 05:26 PM

7. They want to keep the peasants in their place.

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Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 05:04 PM

2. You are absolutely right

Their favored way of killing it would be for the program to be fed to the wolves on Wall Street. At least the 1% that owns the GOP could make a few bucks on starving Grandma.

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Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 05:08 PM

3. The switch to 401Ks make S.S. more important

The old pension plans will pay retirees for as long as they live.

The 401Ks are a finite amount of money that needs to be metered out over a period of time and will run out if miscalculated.

So.... how long are you planning on living?

If you save $500K and you allot yourself $50K/year
you have money for 10 years (give or take what you get in interest or return on your investment). Retire at 60-65 and you run out at 70-75 years of age. If you're still living - too bad.

Now, compound the problem:
Some people are greedy. They are the people who have maxed out their credit cards and then claim bankrupcy, dump the debt and start over again. These people will take $75K/year and live the good life for 7 years and then tell the government thay are out of money and ask what the government is going to do for them. These are the entitlement people. And we know that our government is going to say, "My gosh, we can't just let them starve to death. What are we going to do?"

This is the problem nobody has started to think about yet.

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Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 05:11 PM

4. Because it does work.

Remember Reagan said "Government is not the solution. Government is the problem." The Republicans hate it when government works and will do anything to get rid of those parts that do. They are concerned with ideology, not human beings.

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Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 05:27 PM

8. If Progressives got our way, the cons would never win again.

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Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Fri Sep 21, 2012, 07:45 PM

9. The oligarchy wants control!!! Thanks for Your updates Alan!! love Ya'!

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Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Sat Sep 22, 2012, 06:38 AM

11. They have been wanting to destroy it since FDR put it together

The greedy rich have NEVER gotten over their fellow rich guy Frank Roosevelt jacking up the taxes on them to help fund the nation's infrastructure.
Obviously lifting the nation out of the Depression didn't matter to them & neither did creating opportunities for the non-rich to have some quality of life.

This is not a recent fight. This is a nearly century-old fight. 3/4 of a century. Nearly 80 years.
Piece by piece they chip away at the New Deal legacy.
Will Obama's reelection signal the end of the chipping?
We shall certainly see.
John Lucas

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Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Sun Sep 23, 2012, 03:05 PM

13. K & R

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