Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 16 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 5/29/13

A Vision for Social Security

By       (Page 1 of 4 pages)   5 comments
Message Richard Eskow
Become a Fan
  (15 fans)
Source: Huffington Post

(Image by Unknown Owner)   Details   DMCA

Is our country losing the vision and values which gave rise to Social Security?

Social Security benefits lag far behind those of other developed countries. A new analysis of census data shows that elder poverty is much higher than we first realized. And yet the discussion in Washington is of cutting, not expanding, it. The number of impoverished seniors would rise sharply if that happened, or if the Medicare cuts currently under discussion became law.

The numbers say that Social Security should be increased, not cut, and most Americans agree.

But the Social Security cutters, financed by billions and aided by their network of powerful friends in government and the media, are appealing to the human heart. That's a bitter irony for a policy prescription that even their own consciences must recognize is heartless.

We (heart) Social Security

Social Security, one of the most popular and reliable programs in the United States, is under concerted attack from corporate and Wall Street interests. Both the Republicans and President Obama have proposed to cut it.

The case against this ill-advised move has been made again and again. Polls, charts, graphs and logic have been deployed in support of a simple message: Social Security must be expanded, not reduced.

So why -- why, in the name of all that's good and decent -- aren't  we expanding Social Security? Why does the president's proposed budget still include the "chained CPI," which would raise taxes on the drowning middle class while cutting Social Security benefits?

There have been several proposals to expand Social Security. These proposals would also make it fiscally impregnable for the foreseeable future, as far as the actuarial eye can see. Why have they received so little press attention and political support?

Maybe it's a matter of heart,  of soul, of vision. The Social Security Cutters are putting all they've got -- personal and emotional, as well as financial -- into the fight against Social Security. They've created a narrative which is false, but is simple and internally coherent. Their vision can be summed up with these words:

We can't afford it.

That's not true. It's time for a better vision, one which is more fiscally sound -- and truer to our values as a society.

Motive and Opportunity

The Social Security Cutters are funded by hedge fund billionaires, major Wall Street bankers, and defense contractor CEOs. Their spokespeople include a handful of economists whose views get disproportionate attention, thanks to the money behind them, along with a hefty chunk of Democratic "centrists" whose policy prescriptions on Social Security are to the right of most Republicans.

The funders' motives are clear: Cutting Social Security would lead to more funds under Wall Street's management. It would also lead to less public pressure to tax ultra-wealthy individuals like themselves.

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3  |  4

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Must Read 2   Valuable 2   News 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Richard Eskow Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Host of 'The Breakdown,' Writer, and Senior Fellow, Campaign for America's Future

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

How to Fix the Fed: Dismiss Dimon, Boot the Bankers, and Can the Corporations

The Top 12 Political Fallacies of 2012

Pawn: The Real George Zimmerman Story

What America Would Look Like If Libertarians Got Their Way

"His Own Man's" Man: Jeb Bush and the Return of Wolfowitz

"F" The Bureaucracy! The White House Can Help Homeowners Right Now

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend