What’s behind the anti-Social Security vitriol? Gene Lyons writes in his new column, “The War On Social Security”:
Now and then, George W. Bush told the unvarnished truth — most often in jest. Consider the GOP presidential nominee’s Oct. 20, 2000, speech at a high-society, $800-a-plate fundraiser at New York City’s Waldorf-Astoria. Resplendent in a black tailcoat, waistcoat and white bowtie, Bush greeted the swells with evident satisfaction.
“This is an impressive crowd,” he said. “The haves and the have-mores. Some people call you the elites; I call you my base.”
Eight months later, President Bush delivered sweeping tax cuts to that patrician base. Given current hysteria over what a recent Washington Post article called “the runaway national debt,” it requires an act of historical memory to recall that the Bush administration rationalized reducing taxes on inherited wealth because paying down the debt too soon might roil financial markets.
Eleven years later, the Post warns in a ballyhooed article reading like something out of Joseph Heller’s “Catch-22,” that Social Security — the 75-year-old bedrock of millions of Americans’ retirement hopes — has “passed a treacherous milestone,” gone “cash negative,” and “is sucking money out of the Treasury.”
Anybody who discerns a relationship between these events, that is, between a decade of keeping the yachts and Lear jets of the “have-mores” running smoothly and a manufactured crisis supposedly threatening grandma’s monthly Social Security check, must be some kind of radical leftist.
That, or somebody skeptical of the decades-long propaganda war against America’s most efficient, successful and popular social-insurance program.