"We put those payroll contributions there so as to give the contributors a legal, moral, and political right to collect their pensions and unemployment benefits, with those taxes in there so no damn politician can ever scrap my Social Security program." President Franklin Delano Roosevelt - 1941
FDR recognized former President Herbert Hoover and the Republicans hated him and the entire concept of Social Security. The beleaguered president used that hate to bring 'we the people' to his side when he chose to fight. The crippled president showed he had a spine and he won the fight in 1935. Roosevelt's battle for Social Security is an excellent lesson for President Obama to follow. FDR said when he signed the bill into law, that Social Security "represents a cornerstone in a structure which is being built but is by no means complete."
The original Social Security program had more than just old age insurance. The new program had 11 different titles including the pension, vocational rehabilitation, unemployment insurance, aid to dependent children and public health programs.
Social Security has proven to be the greatest and most successful national social program ever created in the history of the world. The question becomes, why should we Americans feel insecure about Social Security? The trust fund today is secure and will be paying out at the current rates for at least 21 years from now. Well then if it's not broken, what's all the fury and worry as to why we have to fix it? And why are we so insecure about Social Security?
Simple answer: The Republicans and now the ConservaDems, Wall Street Moguls, $Billion dollar Hedge Fund Mangers, Banksters, the powerful 90% of the right-wing media and Lobbyists, are drooling and frothing from their greedy mouths to consume the treasure chest of the approximately $12 trillion Social Security trust fund by spewing lies and propaganda. The $7 trillion debt money (borrowed from and owed) and $5 trillion in governmental holdings sits there and the new robber barons want that pot of gold. Social Security has nothing to do with the deficit. The justly earned trust fund is solidly there, securely helping mostly older and retired Americans. Apparently the 2% of the wealthiest Americans with their strong sense of entitlement won't feel secure until they are permitted to dig into the pot.
As Paul Krugman wrote in his recent New York Times article, "The Hijacked Commission." He points out, "President Obama made a big mistake when he created the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform - a supposedly bipartisan panel charged with coming up with solutions to the nation's long-run fiscal (deficit) problems. It seems obvious, as soon as the commission's membership was announced, that "bipartisanship" would mean what it so often does in Washington: a compromise between the center-right and the hard-right." The commission's co-chairmen: Democrat (alleged) "Erskine Bowles, put out a very Republican sounding small-government agenda." - "Alan Simpson, the Republican co-chairman, revealed how he felt about the trust fund, by sending an abusive e-mail to the executive director of the National Older Women's League in which he described Social Security as being "like a milk cow with 300 million tits."
As mentioned earlier, Social Security has nothing to do with the deficit. The Deficit Commission's 7th and last of "Our Guiding Principals and Values" was "Reduce the Deficit." Their first priority was to cut taxes. Also they suggested take away the deductibility of health benefits and mortgage interests (really hurting the middle-class) "and using much of the revenue gained thereby, not to reduce the deficit, but to allow sharp reductions in both the top marginal tax rate and in the corporate tax rate." Further help to the wealthy.
The Commission's view of Social Security is that the age should be raised to 69 for it to kick in because of greater life expectancy. Krugman: "Bowles-Simpson proposal is basically saying that janitors should be forced to work longer because these days corporate lawyers live to a ripe old age." (Laborers are dying sooner with no decent health-care)
After GW Bush and company stole the 2000 election, he vowed to destroy Roosevelt's New Deal. Recently after the release of his book, Dubya reveals his biggest failure was not privatizing Social Security. Not the two bad wars, not 9/11 (his proudest moment), not all his blunders and lies, Medicare B or wrecking our nation. Bush's biggest failure was not destroying Social Security.
We hope President Obama will find the back-bone to save Social Security and the middle-class tax cuts from the devouring GOP Greediots, the large corporations and 2 Percenters, many of whom pay NO TAXES!
Reprinted with permission from the Valley Democrats United newsletter, Margie Murray, Editor, where the article first appeared.