Mostly rational politics, with occasional rants about how a few crazy Republicans are ruining the country.
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Tuesday, March 15, 2005
James Carville on Social Security
from an email from James Carville. Good to review the basic talking points every now and again:
The Five Things Every Democrat Should Know About Social Security
1. The goal of Social Security is to keep people out of poverty. It used to be that when you got old, you got poor. Social Security is not going to make you rich, but it's not going to leave you poor either. That's the point. Is it sexy? No. But don't lose sight of how important a guaranteed "safety net" is for everyone's well-being, especially older folks.
2. Social Security works. Social Security has cut elderly poverty by two-thirds. About two-thirds of retirees rely on Social Security for more than half of their income. One-third of them rely on it for 90% or more of their income. If Social Security checks stopped going out today, 48% of elderly Americans would immediately be thrown into poverty.
3. Right now, the very future of Social Security is at stake. Republicans say they actually want to save Social Security. Don't believe it. They've never truly believed in the concept behind Social Security. They don't like sharing risk over large groups of people. Their attitude is basically, "Let the rich people ignore it, provide incentives for young and healthy people to get out if it, and let the poor and the sick fend for themselves."
4. George Bush's plan for Social Security won't work. Privatizing Social Security will require as much as a 40% cut in benefits. It will increase the deficit by $2 TRILLION. And it won't extend the life of the trust fund or make the program any more solvent. Three strikes and you're out.
5. There are better plans that will protect Social Security for generations. Very smart people have proposed a number of reforms to Social Security that don't require a cut in benefits or spending $2 TRILLION we don't have. Some combination of these sensible, measured reforms can make sure Social Security lasts for many generations to come. Doesn't that seem more reasonable than Bush's reckless privatization scheme that won't work?