By Dave Lindorff
It's time for us progressives to stop playing defense on Social Security.
We've watched the retirement system suffer years of attacks by conservatives and by class traitors in the Democratic Party. We have seen the retirement age raised since 1983 from 65 to 67, and the cost-of-living calculation altered so that our benefits have declined in value over time, while the tax rate on working people has risen.
It's time to stop fighting rear-guard actions and to go on the offense.
Beginning next year, the Baby Boom generation born after 1945 is going to start retiring en masse. That means the size of the retiree portion of the population is about to double. Far from being a threat to the Social Security system though, as conservative critics falsely claim, this new wave or retirees will actually strengthen the system, because soon there will be a far larger voting population of retirees and pending retirees who will all have a vested interest in preserving and improving Social Security.
That is precisely why the Obama Administration, ever solicitous of the wishes of the corporate elite and Wall Street, together with bought-and-paid Republicans and treacherous Democrats in Congress, are attempting through the latest so-called Deficit Commission, to push through more cuts to weaken the Social Security system now, while they still can.
If we Baby Boomers, who are just about to start collecting Social Security, would recognize our own (and our children's) interests, we could put a stop to this betrayal of the New Deal's greatest legacy immediately.
There is no Social Security "crisis."