My good friend Marshall Auerbach has one answer — can you “refudiate” it?
Hint: it’s not Republicans.
Social Security remains one of the greatest achievements of the Democratic Party since its creation 75 years ago. Although Republicans have historically fulminated against the program (Ronald Reagan once likened it as something akin to “socialism”), they have actually made little headway in touching this sacred “third rail” in American politics. President Bush pushed for partial privatization of the program in 2005, but the proposal gained no policy traction (even within his own party) because Social Security continues to be hugely popular with American voters. It’s a universal program that benefits all Americans, not a government handout to a few privileged corporations.
Which is why it’s odd that Democrats seem almost embarrassed to continue to champion the legacy of FDR. The party frets about long-term deficits and the corresponding need to “save” Social Security from imminent bankruptcy and, in doing so, opens the gate to radical cuts in entitlements that will do nothing but further destroy incomes and perpetuate our current economic malaise.
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Phi Beta Iota: Reflexive Practice demands holistic approaches to all challenges–no single challenge can be addressed intelligently in isolation. Whole of Government planning and programming as well as reality-based policy are two of the ingredients missing with the national government.