Divide And Conquer: The New Plan To End Social Security By Dividing America at 55

Now begins the cold-blooded campaign to destroy Social Security. The plan is to divide and conquer the American people along generational lines. Synchronize your calendars.

If you’re over 55, you’re a Social Security winner; if you’re under 55 you’re a Social Security loser. Life is a lottery based on a four-digit number, the year you were born.

The proponents of this cynical conspiracy intend to pit father against son, mother against daughter. The elders are comfortable, warm and well-fed. So what if the sons and daughters have to eat dog food in old age? Who cares?

FDR SIGNING THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT, 1935. DO THESE PEOPLE LOOK LIKE COMMUNISTS? WikiMedia Commons Photo

Since the beginning, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Social Security into law in 1935, some people have hated Social Security. The concept of lifting every elderly American off the dirt floor of poverty infuriates the cold-hearted and mean-spirited. The diehard opponents of Social Security live by their own “Golden Rule,” to wit:

“He who has the gold, rules.”

The spirit of Social Security is too good, too honest, too simple, too clear. Social Security is kindness and justice for every old man and old woman in America, backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government. Every old man and old woman deserves to live in dignity, with food to eat and a roof over their heads. What’s so hard to understand about that?

IDA MAY FULLER, RECIPIENT OF THE FIRST SOCIAL SECURITY CHECK. (THESE DAYS, YOU CAN GET DIRECT DEPOSIT.) SSA Photo

 

The Social Security safety net has been a blessing for every generation since the Great Depression. Medicare has been a life-saver for senior citizens in a health system run by unforgiving insurance companies. There is no good reason why Social Security and Medicare should not continue to be a blessing for today’s adults — whatever their age — and for their children and grandchildren. Where did this crazy idea of discriminating by age and generation come from? Oh, right. For the record, it came from Republicans.

(By the end of March2011, it appears clearly that Republicans intend to destroy Medicare and Medicaid first, by way of a scorched-earth budget policy. Please see my post, “Wilding in Washington: Last Stand of the White Men in Suits.”)

I’m 62, and no one I know among my contemporaries would wish upon their children and grandchildren a future without Social Security.

Only a fool would believe that children born in 2010 will be so healthy and wealthy, 65 years hence, that they will not need a safety net in old age. What is the logic, what is the fairness, in saying that America will keep faith with everyone over 55, and to hell with everybody under 55?

I wouldn’t stand for it, if I were 25 years old today, or 35, or 45. If you’re going to treat one group of people fairly, you must treat every group fairly.

Social Security is solvent right now. The propaganda claims it is not financially viable for the future. The propaganda is a lie. The most recent projections say it won’t run out of money until 2037.

All Social Security needs is minor adjustments to keep going past 2037, and going strong.  See 12 Ways To Fix Social Security.

Every machine needs routine maintenance. That is Social Security exactly. Congress made adjustments in the 1980s, and the machine has been running smoothly ever since. Right now is simply the time for the regular 100,000-mile maintenance.

To discriminate by age is not the American way. Divide American into the privileged and the have-nots at age 55? No way. Put your foot down. Open your window and scream. Just say no.

We can and must save Social Security for today’s 25-, 35-, and 45-year-olds.  With a little fine-tuning, Social Security will still be strong, for those over 55, and for all Americans. What do you think? — John Hayden

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5 Comments

Filed under Debt crisis, Democracy, Future, Social Security

5 responses to “Divide And Conquer: The New Plan To End Social Security By Dividing America at 55

  1. This is a very inspiring post. It seems to me that Social Security is a huge part of America’s heart. My dad was a proud American and a Democrat. He would roll over in his grave if he heard what all is going on in our country today.

    I personally know a few people who think it is okay to say good-bye to SS. They have a great deal of family wealth. I guess they imagine their money will always be there for them and their children and the heck with the rest of the world.

    Thanks for the post and links!

    Like

  2. I have no problem with “means-testing” Social Security — though here, let’s strike a compromise: if the people who make more money in a year than you or I will ever see consent to at least give up their Bush-era tax cuts, we’ll let them collect the same few hundred a month from Social Security that sustained my ex-husband in fast-food meals and changes of clothing when he was — as we all feared and eventually learned — living on the street in his mental deterioration and misplaced pride. (He lied about everything — he was a retired actor and did a damn good job of it.)

    He was a sweet, childlike man, whom I had to divorce because he wouldn’t wash and wouldn’t work and essentially could have cost me my life savings because he wasn’t living in the same world we are and made decisions accordingly. When he collapsed at Union Station in a freezing February, Medicare paid for palliative cancer treatment and hospitalization and the last few dollars of his Social Security payments paid for his cremation and urn.

    He taught chess to grade-schoolers, vocal performance to young Savoyards and English to people applying for citizenship. He was just about the funniest, kindest man who ever lived. He forgot more about history and music than I’ll ever learn. Something just came loose in his mind, that’s all.

    I don’t think that will stop happening to people, do you? I think we can find the money.

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    • I agree. We’re the richest people in the history of the world. We can find the money. Thank you for sharing the story about your ex-husband.

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      • I’ve spent many bleak, reflective moments wondering what I should have done for him. Insisted on taking him in even though he acted strange, and stank, and would have derailed my home based business just by being under my roof? Staying married to him was out of the question. He had to have his arm twisted up behind his back, because his reasoning process had become so strange, to even submit his application for Social Security or Medicaid (which was commuted to plain Medicare after two years owing to his age).

        All I know is that because there was public money, he died in some comfort and dignity, instead of sucking me dry and dragging me down with him, or going straight to homelessness in the public buildings of DC. And by the way, the hospital took up the slack unpaid by Medicare, not even billing his nonexistent estate — money that you and I underwrote anyway, somehow.

        I guess the uber-wealthy and privileged never imagine confronting these choices.

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  3. I also want to say thanks for sharing sledpress. I’m sorry about what happened to your ex-husband and also to you. Your description of his problems reminds me of my loved one. I understand having to draw the line. We can’t let another person destroy us, no matter who the person is.

    I’m grateful to live in a country that helps our disabled citizens, particularly with housing. It scares me to think this will not always be the case.

    Like

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