Mar 7, 2005
Bush, Cheney and Treasury Secretary Snow hit the road on March 3 to sell their Social Security "reform." They say they plan to hold rallies in 60 cities in 60 days.
Said Bush, "I'm going to keep telling people we've got a problem until it sinks in."
So every day for the next 60 days, Bush will be on television, spouting a ton of lies about Social Security.
So far those lies about Social Security haven't worked. Opinion polls show that more than half the people (51%) oppose privatizing Social Security. And when people are told that privatization will bring cuts in guaranteed benefits, that number jumps to 69% in opposition to Bush. People also oppose Bush's plan to increase the retirement age by a two-to-one margin.
Bush's scare tactics are not working either. More than four out of five people (83%) say they don't believe there is a Social Security crisis. But if there is some kind of gap in funding, three-quarters of the people say that the wealthy ought to fund it, by making all income subject to taxation.
Bush may be trying to lie to get us to accept his attacks on Social Security, just like he lied about weapons of mass destruction to justify his bloody war for oil in Iraq. But it isn't working. His elaborate road show to sell his attacks on Social Security is an admission of that.
But Bush isn't through with Social Security. In fact, he is only getting started, and Social Security remains in great danger.
First of all, no one in Congress defends Social Security. Sure, the Democrats claim to be the upholders and protectors of Social Security.
But don't believe it.
On the same day Bush began his Social Security road show, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid sent Bush a letter signed by 42 Senate Democrats. The letter affirms that the Democrats in the Senate are ready "... to establish the kind of cooperative, bipartisan process we need" to close the retirement system's supposed long-term funding gap.
No, the Democrats are lying just like Bush is. The Democrats also say that there is a Social Security crisis, even though there isn't. They are getting ready to cut Social Security benefits, even though they say they are not.
Neither do the Democrats oppose the privatization of Social Security. Only six years ago, when Bill Clinton was president, he proposed to begin privatizing Social Security by attaching a system of individual accounts onto Social Security, just like 401(k) individual retirement accounts were added onto regular private pensions. Of course, we all know that after individual retirement accounts were introduced, they soon replaced most regular pensions. Expect the same thing to happen to Social Security if private accounts are introduced as "add-ons."
No, the Democrats are playing their usual double game of pretending to oppose Bush, while under the table they support his program.
Only one thing will stop these politicians' attacks against Social Security: the outrage of a big part of the U.S. population. In the past, that outrage was considered to be the "third rail" of American politics – a politician who tried to touch it was dead politically. We can show that this third rail is very much alive.
Let them take their dirty hands off Social Security!