FDR Signing the Social Security Act
Republican opposition to Social Security has a long history. In 1936 Alf Landon, Republican presidential candidate, outlined the program’s deficiencies as he declared to voters, “I will not promise you the moon”. Landon was defeated, but his anti-Social Security message was carried through the years by succeeding generations of Republicans.
There have been Democrats from time to time who joined in the anti-Social Security crusade. Today we have before us one of these–not a remote voice from a conservative redoubt, but the standard-bearer of the Democratic party. Barack Obama waved the white flag of surrender this week from his sequester bunker when he suggested that Congress tinker with Social Security Cost of Living adjustments. Obama’s chained CPI proposal is a capitulation to all those Landonites who have been trying to chip away at Social Security since 1936.
Lacking the courage to propose an outright reduction in Social Security benefits, the president colluded with accountants to fix the books. Obama’s not going to “cut” benefits; he’s going to make sure they shrivel on the vine. The erosion of buying power for Social Security beneficiaries will begin slowly, then mount over time as inflation outpaces benefit levels.
Senior citizens all over the country are traditionally warned to look out for con artists trying to scam them out of hard-earned dollars. These charlatans use obfuscation and slight-of-hand to disguise nefarious intent. How, I ask, does the president’s chained CPI proposal differ from the scam artist’s chicanery?
Is it a wolf in sheep’s clothing that we have in the White House? He looks like a friend. He talks social justice and then he pulls out of his back pocket a contract that will steal from the most vulnerable money they have been promised and a standard of living they have a right to expect.
Shame on you, President Obama. What are you thinking? What cause, what constituent will you not sell out? If the most vulnerable among us are easy prey to political calculation, then who is safe?