Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/08/14/happy-birthday-social-security-crown-jewel-new-deal
The persistent, cynical assault on Social Security has made me wretch from the time I was old enough to vote, and perhaps before as I was paying into the system for three years before that. As I grew in awareness about the efforts to privatize this pool of money I steamed. I was blessed with the ability to watch how my parents, who grew up during the Great Depression and were steeled by WWII in which my father fought, handled money. I developed an attitude to never depend upon the government for anything and have been fortunate to keep on track. However, I have such a tremendous amount of empathy for those not so fortunate as myself. Rousseau’s Social Contract always spoke to me, as did Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount although I am a nonbeliever. Let’s remember that FDR had to be pushed by the people to pass Progressive legislation. Please don’t take my word for that; it is a matter of public record. Step One is to Dump Trump. Step Two is to go a Ridin’ Biden!
“Joe Biden is running on expanding Social Security.”
Given his past, pushing for cuts to the program, forgive me for being skeptical, and my “I’ll believe it when I see it” attitude.
“Conservatives labeled it Socialism, among other attacks.”
Knowing SS is self funded, how much do you have to hate your fellow man/woman, to have this attitude towards a program that has brought dignity and the possibility of retirement to so many people?
Couple that fact with how much conservatives love socialism, as long as the rich are the only benefactors of it.
When I look at this issue from the outside, it really hard to conceive of a National Government anywhere that would openly work at dismantling a program like Social Security. They could never get away with it and the voter would turn on such a political party in droves.
How it it that the Republicans can think this a “winning program” ?
Next time you consider the Republic a beacon of light and a democracy, or believe in differences between the Ds and the Rs, just remember these basic economic human rights that the other industrialized countries have in abundance, and which have successfully been ignored for a century here. Mistake, not just industrialized countries, but so many more, including ex socialist countries in the political dictatorships of Eastern Europe.
Roosevelt and Perkins defined Social Security expansively, as basic economic security. They envisioned Social Security providing universal guaranteed health care and short-term disability benefits, including paid sick leave and, today, paid family leave, but ultimately decided to propose insurance for old age and unemployment as a first step.
They THINK it would be a win for them, but it’s mostly that they are so debased that their motto is “With charity toward none, and malice toward all.”