Thursday, July 21, 2011

Social Security Works

I have posted a few times about Social Security and the surreal atmosphere in Washington, fomented primarily by Republicans, that wants you to think SS is not working, is nearly insolvent, and must be privatized because it is a drag on the federal budget.

These contentions are all demonstrably false. (My previous posts on SS are here.) Now I see the AARP Bulletin for June, 2011 (print edition) has an article by James Roosevelt, Jr., the grandson of our greatest President, entitled Social Security's Enduring Truths (p. 32).

Roosevelt notes that detractors have been lying about SS since its inception. Alf Landon, the Republican nominee in 1936, called Social Security "a hoax." The Republican platform for that year called SS "unworkable."

"...Social Security has not only been the most effective government program, it has been the most responsible government program. It does not and cannot borrow money to finance its operations. There is no deficit financing. Social Security is the epitome of Yankee frugality. It could not be better managed. The administrative cost is .09 percent. It returns more than 99 cents to beneficiaries on every dollar collected. I dare you to find a private retirement  plan that can claim that."

Well said. Now see the video below where Congressman Dennis Kucinich makes essentially the same argument.

The real tragedy in this, and a terrible indication of what is wrong with modern public discourse, is that these facts matter not a whit to conservative ideologues. They are not interested in what works. They hate government, especially successful programs that contradict their dangerous obsession with privatization. Social Security works well. It is the centerpiece of the New Deal and helped to create the middle class. Conservatives cannot accept that, they cannot dispute the facts, so they have to lie about it.

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