Monday, August 15, 2005

Happy Birthday, Social Security

Yesterday marked the seventieth anniversary of the Social Security system.

Social Security is not only one of America's great success stories, it's a good example of the value of thinking creatively and challenging old orthodixies. When FDR proposed Social Security back in 1935, it was the epitome of an outside-the-box idea, one that stood old assumptions on their head. It was reform-minded, innovative and compassionate, embodying the values that we as Democrats and as Americans should stand for.

Contrary to the Bush Administration's contentions, the way to reform Social Security is not to gut it. Instead, let's have a sensible discussion on ways to address the legitimate demographic and financing issues in a way that maintains both the system's solvency and its legitimacy. in addition, let's look for ways to modernize an outdated pension system and make it relevant to today's "free agent" economy.

Of course, there are a few folks on the other side of the debate who are exhibiting a mind-boggling desire to roll back seven decades of progress. The Wisconsin Republican Party has decreed that America's most successful social program is "a socialist ponzi scheme". Let's keep this sort of rhetoric in mind the next time the Bush Administration and its apologists claim to have the system's best interests at heart.

(Tip o' the hat to Josh Marshall for the Wisconsin link)

Thanks, Peter. Social Security prevents 63,000 senior citizens in NH from living under the poverty wage.

For all those who claim it's "their money" and they want it back - well, hear this. I've been paying war taxes for 30 years. I want every single dime returned to me that was spent on the bloated Pentagon budget. When the Pentagon can pass an audit, and explain the $3 trillion they can't account for, then we'll talk.

In contrast, Social Security administrative costs are less than 2%. Pretty darned efficient.
If we don't allow personal accounts ASAP, Social Security will not be there for our children, and will continue to bankrupt the country.

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