Monday, December 06, 2004

Reid on Social Security 

This I like. Guess I went nucl-ee-ar on Reid too soon. Typical Lambert. Sorry, guys. Good message here:

MR. RUSSERT: Private accounts for Social Security--the president has made that a priority of his domestic agenda. Will you work with him in privatizing part of Social Security?

SEN. REID: Tim, I can remember as a little boy my widowed grandmother with eight children. She lived alone, but she felt independent because she got every month her old age pension check. That's what this is all about. The most successful social program in the history of the world is being hijacked by Wall Street. Yes, Social Security is a good program. And if the president has some ideas about trying to improve it, I'll talk to him, and we as Democrats will, but we are not going to let Wall Street hijack Social Security. It won't happen. They are trying to destroy Social Security.

MR. RUSSERT: No private accounts?

SEN. REID: They are trying to destroy Social Security by giving this money to the fat cats on Wall Street, and I think it's wrong.

MR. RUSSERT: But, Senator, there are now 40 million people on Social Security. In the next 20 years, there's going to be 80 million. Life expectancy used to be 65 years old. It's approaching 80. If you have twice as many people on these programs for 15 years, you've got to restructure them in some way, shape, or form. What is your solution?


MR. RUSSERT: What is your alternative?

SEN. REID: Tim, all experts say that Social Security beneficiaries will receive every penny of their benefits that they're entitled to--100 percent of them--until the year 2055. After that, if we still do nothing, they'll draw 80 percent of their benefits. I want those beneficiaries after year 2055 to draw 100 percent of their benefits. But this does not require dismantling the program. For heaven's sakes, they're crying wolf a little too regularly here. There is not an emergency on Social Security. We can do this. The president should not try to jam this private accounts in an effort to destroy Social Security.
(via MSNBC)

One idea that is implicit in what Reid is here is that the Republicans have a very narrow notion of family values. Never mind the gay marriage stuff—the wingers don't have a notion of an extended family that can stretch across several generations, which is what Social Security does. Reid made me think about something that I never thought of before: That since Social Security is a pay-as-you-go program, I've been paying for my Mother's retirement, in the expectation that I too, would be taken care of. And now that I think about it, I'm proud to have given my Mother that money. Certainly it was better to give her a guarantee too, which is what the payroll tax does, or would do if the Republicans weren't trying to steal it.

So, ownership society? Screw that! I'm taking care of my Mom.

UPDATE The Howler has more.

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