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  • Social Security: Waving the Bloody Shirt Will Delay Needed Reform

    Following the Civil War, the Republican Party won elections by characterizing their opponents as the party responsible for the conflict. These fear tactics carried the GOP to several successes over the course of about 20 years.

    This election strategy is still alive and well today. Now, it’s liberals who are “waving the bloody shirt,” this time through wild exaggerations of conservatives’ plans for Social Security reform.

    This is nothing new. The Wall Street Journal, in an article detailing this “Social Security Bait and Switch,” writes that scare tactics centered around the threat of terminating Social Security “have been regular campaign themes since FDR.” Were President Reagan alive today, he may even utter again his famous campaign retort: There they go again.

    The left is using Social Security as a central attack against opponents, claiming that conservatives are intent on “privatizing” Social Security if they gain back control of Congress. There is a huge flaw with this approach.

    By demonizing conservatives, President Obama and company are making it ever less likely that the President’s deficit commission will successfully reach a consensus—as they were tasked by the President to do—on a strategy for reform. If their tactic works, that momentary short-term gain will come at the cost of untold billions in additional deficits as the chance to fix Social Security is significantly delayed.

    The Wall Street Journal writes: “The irony is that the fiscal condition of Social Security could be substantially improved simply by readjusting its actuarial formulas to slow the growth rate of benefits. But Republicans are unlikely to sign on even to that if they’re going to be demonized for such a modest ‘cut’ anyway, much less endorse a reform like raising the future retirement age. Mr. Obama says he wants to cut a deal, but encouraging Democrats this year to box themselves in against any change will make serious reforms that much harder next year.”

    Some liberals have expressed opposition to any changes whatsoever to Social Security, further antagonizing reform efforts. In an editorial, e21, a think tank that focuses on economic policy, writes, “Given that Social Security’s fiscal imbalance has been well documented by everyone from the Congressional Budget Office to the General Accounting Office to the program’s own actuaries and trustees, [Social Security reform] would seem to be a rational step to take. But once again, a cacophony of voices has arisen to argue that nothing about Social Security warrants changing any time soon.”

    By attacking any changes at all to Social Security, liberals are increasingly backing themselves into a corner, a position that will make it exceedingly difficult to act on much-needed reform.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    7 Responses to Social Security: Waving the Bloody Shirt Will Delay Needed Reform

    1. Billie says:

      If the president is unable to recognize the difference between what's adequate and what's a take over, any difficulty is put on by his actions alone.

      This money wasn't suppose to be at government's leisure to spend on special interests to collapse the program into nothing but a program of corruption… people have no choice. The government takes it out of all who are not tax exempt while those who are tax exempt receive social security, leaving burdening problems and bankruptcy on the innocent who were left with NOTHING BUT TRUST FOR WHAT THE GOVERNMENT PROMISED WOULD BE THERE..

    2. Drew Page, IL says:

      The biggest reform to the Social Security system ought be to be passage of a Constitutional amendment forbidding the government from using any Social Security funds to pay for anything but Social Security benefits to legal citizens of the U.S. who paid into the system for the required time in order to be eligible.

      We are routinely chided by politicians, pundits and "economists" that Social Security is going bankrupt. Where were all of these people when the government kept dipping into Social Security funds to pay for other things, leaving worthless IOUs for posterity to repay? Iwould love to see an accounting of all the amounts taken from the S.S. "lock box", who authorized the taking of these funds. Did one man, or a vote of Congress, determine how much was to be taken from S.S. funds? If a vote of Congress, who were those that voted to do so? As long as the government is allowed to keep robbing the till, Social Security will always be broke.

    3. Richard Quinn, Veron says:

      So what's new? This administration delights at setting up scapegoats be it big business, the "wealthy", insurance companies, PBMs or drug makers. Notably missing are unions…imagine that. It's everyone else's fault these days.


    4. Leon Lundquist, Dura says:

      Irony of black tarred irony! This bunch of Progressive liars took my money out of my paycheck each week for 35 years and in my hour of need they say "Oh we'll give you something when you are dying!" Meanwhile, with all the criminality of a Ponzi scheme, I paid for the WWII Generation to retire with dignity. Marvelous! How the gimmie gang takes so easy and pays it back so hard! Now, if you are an illegal alien then the Federal spigot spews abundant wealth. If you are an American taxpayer the new gig is to make you pay back anything you accidently get from government assistance. Like gosh! Do you dare to incur the uncertainty that if you ever do get out of the hole? Uncle Sam will pull you back in! No! This is crazy! Help is betrayal because the government is like that bad insurance company that fights you when you file your claim.

      Let it not be forgot, we paid our Insurance, SSI, Medicare, Medicaid and every other damned social program that came down the pike. My generation worked for a living, we paid for WWII and to prevent WWIII. The Breach Of Contract is at the other end of our Contract, with those damnible Progressives and their RINO friends who raided the Fund. Crazy enough to put a big pile of cash our there waiting to be gobbled up by Inflation! But really, SSI recipients are screwed again by inflation. Those tens of thousands I put in are like hundreds of thousands if you adjusted for inflation. And they say "Henry, the Horse, you should work a little harder! Work longer!" But that pasture Obama has planned for you? It is six feet under.

      Do you find it odd that Dental Care is denied for Seniors? Look at your Medical Statistics, bad teeth are a huge cause of serious illness. You worry about Death Panels? Somebody compartmented Medicine in America and our Seniors are falling through these cracks already. You don't have to look far to believe as I do that Socialism is the guarantor of poverty. My Generation is the proof, many of us were swept into poverty by the collapse of American Industry (Oh! Laugh! They call it "The Post Industrial Era" or the "Information Age" while no Nation has ever, ever prospered without Industry)!

      I am entitled by Contract. I should fell as safe as a GM Bondholder, no doubt the Administration plans to break more Contracts. The very word "Entitlements" has been getting the demonization treatment, shifty footing for new Political Agenda. I dare in my books to call it Soft Murder, do you dare to print it?

    5. Ken Sipes says:

      Actually, We can afford SSI. One main thing that nobody really talks about is the huge pensions that government employees get. A friend of mine, gets $5200.00/mo. with colas. This was at age 53!. The most he ever made at his job was 62,500. Imagine what the pension is for the bigger incomes. HUGE! If Uncle Sam is so hellbent on saving money, either cut their pension or raise their age to age 62.

    6. Roni says:

      Amazing that the Liberals will go to no limit to keep the house. Do they actually believe we will believe anything they “conger” up, telling us it is for our benefit. It is hard for me to comprehend that Social Security will throw in the towel, knowing that there are millions of us senior citizens who depend entirely on our SS checks. Of course if this Administration continues with their devious plans, the older citizens will be done away with…remember the “death panels” applied to the Obama health care? It’s for real folks!!! Take out the trash in November, and remember the spending habits, and vacations that cost us, that the Obama’s enjoy come 2012. Get this bunch of Socialist out of our White House. Do you recall, Michelle Obama has never been proud of America? Bet she is now that she sees everyone else suffering job losses, and now attacking our Social Security, her expensive trips being paid for, etc. etc. Wouldn’t that make any Socialist happy?

    7. Craig Clodfelter, He says:

      I think conservatives that realize that the sooner we address our long-term fiscal imbalances (like SS) the less painful the solution, would do well to invoke the words of Thomas Sowell, from his Intellectuals & Society (p. 280): "National honor is a recognition that one-day-at-a-time rationalism is a delusion that allows politicians to escape the responsibilities of statesmanship."

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