Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Targeting Social Security

On the same day he dramatically appeared before 65,000-80,000 people in Portland, Oregon, Barack Obama spoke about social security to approximately 130 individuals at an assisted living facility in Gresham, Oregon. The Illinois senator declared:

Let me be clear: Privatizing Social Security was a bad idea when George W. Bush proposed it; it's a bad idea today. That's why I stood up against this plan in the Senate, and that's why I won't stand for it as president.

The response of John McCain, unintentionally, was as clear as Obama's statement was. Spokesman Tucker Bounds accused the expected Democratic nominee of "misinformed partisan attacks" and stated:

John McCain has been clear about his belief that we must fix Social Security for future generations and keep our promises to today's retirees, but raising taxes should not be the answer to every problem.

Imagining that Social Security is "broken" and must be "fixed" is Repub orthodoxy, even a perennial litmus test, for the party's presidential candidates. But this statement is especially revealing, with its aim to "fix Social Security for future generations" (emphasis mine) while "keep(ing) our promises to today's retirees." At least we have been warned of this consequence of a McCain presidency: if you receive benefits now, you are fine. If you expect to collect in the future, don't bet on it.

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