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One of the tactics conservatives use in their crusade to dismantle Social Security is to play generations against each other. Recently, a chairman of President Obama's deficit commissions called soon-to-retire baby boomers "the greediest generation." While that may be a particularly blunt example of divide and conquer, this sort of thing has been going on a long time. My generation, the X'rs, have been a target of a very subtly waged propaganda campaign against Social Security. I admit to being one of those who fell for it. I had been one of those who thought "Social Security is bankrupt and it will never be there for me." I had been one of those who thought that all I was going to do was give and never receive. Only once I learned the facts did I become immune to the lies. However, the war on Social Security continues and the effort to divide generations over it will continue as well.

There is no divide over Social Security. All people, across age, geography, sex, race, you name it, believe in the mission, purpose, and basic structure of Social Security. AARP conducted an extensive poll on the matter and the results were crystal clear:

In a national phone survey of 1,200 adults by the GfK Roper consulting firm (margin of error: plus or minus 3 percent), 90 percent of those ages 18 to 29 deemed Social Security important. In fact, almost half of them agreed with the statement that it is "one of the very most important government programs," an opinion held by nearly 80 percent of those over 65.

And nearly three-quarters of these youngest respondents strongly agreed that while they may not need the program when they retire, a time that probably seems infinitely far away, "I definitely want to know that it’s there, just in case I do." Sixty-two percent said they will rely on Social Security payments in some way. By a wide margin, they opposed cutting benefits to reduce the federal deficit.

Beyond that, the poll went on to show that a majority of Americans across demographic groups are willing to contribute more in Social Security taxes to take care of today's seniors. Even more astounding, the people are willing to pay more in taxes today so that Social Security will be there for themselves! The idea that the youth are against the elderly on the matter is largely a media-manufactured myth fed by wealthy conservatives looking to turn one group against another. They don't like the concept of Social Security because of their ideology. They don't like the non-profit nature of Social Security because of their selfishness. They don't like Social Security taxes because of their greed. They know their views are only held by a small, wealthy elite. So they seek to convince us all of something most of know is false. That is why they are always repeating the lie that "Social Security is going broke." What young person could possibly want to pay into a system that is going broke? This is why AARP and Gallup polls show 6 in 10 workers believe Social Security will not be there for them. Despite all the extensive evidence to the contrary.

My generation, one of the more cynical and ironic in my view, has little confidence in institutions generally. Having come up in an era of changes in the family structure, radical changes in the economic arrangements, and the advent of the information age, we are a socially detached and pessimistic generation. So it is clear for me, being one of those who came of age under Reaganism, how easy it is to settle into the easy fiction that the geezers are mooching and leaving us with the bill. The GenX complaint reads something like this:

Mom and dad made free love, had me, got a divorce, ran up a bunch of debt, bought a McMansion and a bunch of Tony Robbins videos and left me with the bill, and now I have to pay for their retirement?!!! No thanks. I'll be over here reading W. Edwards Deming.

Guys, let's grow up. Even Molly Ringwald is a mother of three. Grow up. I think most of us have, but anybody willing to fall into generational antagonism over silly projections needs a wake-up call. This is a moral issue.

The bottom line is that Social Security is about making sure we are our brother's keeper. Social Security is about who we are as a people. Are we going to be a people that turns the vulnerable into the street? The vast majority of non-retired people reject this idea and stand strongly behind the purpose, structure, and application of Social Security. Beware of those who use attempt to use generational warfare to undermine it. Not only are they liars and charlatans, but they couldn't care less about the young and their future. They have but one goal in using this tactic: to destroy the last remaining hope of the middle class.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 07:00 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Let's hope for the best... (12+ / 0-)

    and prepare for the worst.

    I love long walks on the beach, my favorite color is orange, and I love kicking Republicans right in their canards!

    by MacJimi on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 07:03:39 PM PST

    •  Some of richest corporations paid zero taxes (12+ / 0-)

      Thom Hartman was talking about this again last week. Not only did companies like Exxon, which had some of the highest profits in the history of the world last year, pay no taxes, in some cases these highly profitable companies got millions of dollars in tax refunds. I'm not kidding about this. They are attacking Social Security because filthy rich people want even more money. Totally and completely disgusting.

      Ask yourself if you know anyone earning average wages who paid no taxes last year? Now ask yourself why your friends and coworkers are being asked to sacrifice while the Walmart family is getting millions if not billions of dollars in tax relief because of the legislation that just passed? Why do incredibly profitable companies pay zero taxes and yet average people are expected to take severe cuts in Social Security?

      It is becoming obvious that Obama is in fact a republican. While some people claim Clinton was in fact a republican also, at least average people did fairly well under his administration. The middle to late nineties it was relatively easy to find a decent job. You can't say this since Bloody George was appointed President.

      Everything I write is within a margin of error of precisely 100%.

      by Bailey Savings and Loan on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 07:41:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you Bailey Savings and Loan (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Now ask yourself why your friends and coworkers are being asked to sacrifice while the Walmart family is getting millions if not billions of dollars in tax relief because of the legislation that just passed? Why do incredibly profitable companies pay zero taxes and yet average people are expected to take severe cuts in Social Security?

        Excellent point, and exactly why austerity program is so morally wrong for America.

        The Banksters got the bailout, the top 2% got the biggest bestest tax cuts and estate tax cuts, and the 98% and below crowd get to pay the price.

  •  We're nowhere near the greedheads of our... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maybeeso in michigan

    ...parent's generation.

    •  Yeah, but they actually vote. (4+ / 0-)

      The younger voters have the most stake in this Country.  They'll be taking it over and running it before they know it....and yet...they don't vote in the numbers they should.

      The idiots of my generation who vote for the GOP and many other wrongheaded things need a strong counterbalance so that they don't ruin this country further.

    •  Every generation has its (8+ / 0-)

      heroes and its shitheads.   As far as greed, every generation has its accumulator of vast wealth.  We (boomers) have Gates.  They (whippersnappers) have Zuckerberg.  Our parents had the Rockefellers, Mellons and duPonts.  Our grandparents had Joe Kennedy.  Our great-grandparents had Andrew Carnegie.

      Personally, I'm way past tired of boomer-bashing.  I apologize for GW Bush, okay?  Damn.  But trust me, GenX will produce its own Dubya.  Hell, they probably already have.  Every generation has one of those, too.  Our parents had Nixon, our grandparents had Coolidge.  And on it goes.

      I'm proud to be a boomer.  I'm proud to have lived during the sixties - even though I was too young to do the really fun stuff like go to Woodstock.  I'm proud to have been a witness to what happened back then.  

      All you whippersnappers who agree with Former Senator and Present-Day Asshole Simpson that we are the greediest generation can kiss my ass.  One of these days there'll be a generation coming behind you that will think you suck, too, and it's gonna happen sooner than you think.

      Now, if you excuse me I think I'm going to go listen to some Grateful Dead.

      Obama, 2008: "Yes We Can!"
      Obama, 2010: "No, I Won't!"

      by Mehitabel9 on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 07:36:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  We're now called the Jones Generation (0+ / 0-)

        who were children during all the happenings of the 1960s.

        It's not just a zip code, it's an attitude.

        by sboucher on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 08:21:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not as in Jim Jones? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          And the People's Temple?  Ugh.

          Obama, 2008: "Yes We Can!"
          Obama, 2010: "No, I Won't!"

          by Mehitabel9 on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 08:24:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No no LOL (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Zack from the SFV, BYw

            As in, we're jonesing to belong to one generation or another, but we're kind of trapped in the middle; another silent generation, if you will. We were too young for Woodstock, but had brothers being drafted; we were children during the assassinations, the riots, aware but powerless. There's many articles/videos about it, when the term came into use several years ago.

            It's not just a zip code, it's an attitude.

            by sboucher on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 08:34:16 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I guess I wasn't paying much attention (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              at the time somebody came up with that term.

              The year I was 8, that Thanksgiving my parents hosted a couple of young Army recruits (well, draftees) who'd just finished basic training and were going to shortly be sent to Vietnam for Thanksgiving dinner.  It was part of a local USO effort.

              They came in their dress uniforms and yes-ma'am my mother and yes-sirred my father, and I can still remember being in total awe of them.

              Looking back now - they were, at most, 18 or 19 years old.

              Just thinking about it all these years later makes my eyes fill with tears.  I no longer remember their names nor do I have the slightest idea whatever happened to them.

              Obama, 2008: "Yes We Can!"
              Obama, 2010: "No, I Won't!"

              by Mehitabel9 on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 08:43:58 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  people born between 1954 and 1965 (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Zack from the SFV, BYw, lostinamerica

                Jonesers were given huge expectations as children in the 1960s, and then confronted with a different reality as they came of age in the 1970s and 1980s, leaving them with a certain unrequited, jonesing quality.

                It's not just a zip code, it's an attitude.

                by sboucher on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 09:49:04 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Talkin' About My Generation (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  BYw, lostinamerica, sboucher

                    I don't care much for the name "Jones Generation" but the later Boomers are different from the earlier ones and have mostly been ignored in discussions of the Boomers, as if all Boomers are "Clintonsomething" (born in the late '40s). Maybe that is why we need a name for our cohorts. I remember a lot of the Sixties from my childhood (born in '58) but sometimes feel like I missed out on a lot of the fun and excitement of that time. On the other hand it was advantageous to be only 14 when the U.S. got out of the Viet Nam War. For a while in the early '70s with Nixon I thought it still might be going on when I was old enough for the draft. Because I was born before 1960 I am not subject to the Selective Service Registration system that younger men must comply with. So perhaps the late '50s was a good time to be born after all.

                     Getting back to the topic of the diary, late boomers are also in the phaseout range between SSA full retirement ages 65 to 67. 1958ers have the unique retirement age of two-thirds of a century (66 years 8 months). People born in 1960 or later have 67 as their full retirement age. 67 is plenty old for retirement benefits; that number should not be raised.

                  I'm not a Limousine Liberal; I am a Prius Progressive

                  by Zack from the SFV on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 11:53:25 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I would have no problem (5+ / 0-)

                    working till age 67 or even 70, except who employs people that age anymore except as WalMart greeters?

                    There's a big gap out there that nobody talks about.  It's the people who are anywhere from their late forties on up who get downsized out of their jobs and can't find another because there is a very real and very big problem in this country with age discrimination.

                    But they can't collect Social Security till they are in their late sixties.

                    What the hell are all these people supposed to do for the intervening twenty years?  There just aren't enough WalMarts to go around.

                    I know a few people who are in this exact situation.  But they are, in the larger context of our society, completely invisible.  I suspect that a significant portion of the 99ers who are currently being left twisting in the wind by the Obama Administration fall into this demographic.

                    Obama, 2008: "Yes We Can!"
                    Obama, 2010: "No, I Won't!"

                    by Mehitabel9 on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 07:53:40 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Mehitabel9 thank you (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Zack from the SFV, BYw

                      for pointing out the age discrimination thing, cause that's where I am.

                      Unemployed since April 2007, almost 54 years old and no one wants to give me time of day let alone a job.

                      I want to work so bad, it's humiliating.

                      And yeah, I fear that Obama is taking everything away before I get a dime of what I've paid into it, so there is a disconnect.

                      DC pols are gonna take us all to cleaners.

      •  I'm also proud to be a boomer. (0+ / 0-)

        I'm bashing our parent's generation...the people we grew up working for...the people who have always sought to destroy the unions.

        •  Yeah because the soldiers (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mimi9, jaysunb

          coming home from war in 1945, a couple of years before you were born spent their whole lives bashing unions instead of joining them.

          Buy a fricking  calender and  a four function calculator. If you have to blame a generation blame the one in between your parents and you, the ones often called the Silent Generation, too young to actually fight in the war but who sucked up all the advantages of growing up in the fifties and early sixties when advancement into the Middle Class was seemingly open to all. (If you were white). But unless your parents were in sixth grade when you were born you are barking up the wrong generational tree.

        •  You got it totally backward (4+ / 0-)

          Unions were at their most powerful when your parents' generation was in charge (in the 50's and 60's).

          Unions went downhill afterward, including as long as your generation has been in charge.

          There is a case to be made that your parents' generation was significantly more left-wing on economic matters than yours. They actually grew up in economic depression, and they understood how difficult it was to be poor and how important it was to have a strong, prosperous middle class with minimal class differences. Your generation, on the other hand, grew up in the most prosperous period in our nation's history and took the middle-class lifestyle and relative class equality for granted.

    •  That's helpful. (7+ / 0-)

      Generations aren't "greedheads", people are, I knoow greedheads of all ages, and people of all ages who aren't.  Thanks for perpetuating the divide and conquer technique of the ruling elite.

      Laws and government may be considered in this and indeed in every case as a combination of the rich to oppress the poor ~Adam Smith

      by ActivistGuy on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 07:48:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Boomers like me were taught by someone... (0+ / 0-) strive for the dollar.  Those someones were our parents.

        Some of us rejected that.  Some of us didn't.  But the desire didn't spring up out of nowhere.

        •  Different people have different parents (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JohnInWestland, lostinamerica

            My folks, born in 1917 and 1926, are not like that. They were greatly affected by growing up in the Depression (and I get to hear all about that). Their response was to become frugal, not greedy. It is not that useful to overgeneralize or stereotype any group of people, whether a generation, national or ethnic group, religion, gender, sexual orientation or whatever.

          I'm not a Limousine Liberal; I am a Prius Progressive

          by Zack from the SFV on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 12:09:04 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Hey Zack from the SFV (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Zack from the SFV

            My parents were truely depression babies born in 1929 and 1932, and good thing for it. My parents taught me how to make ends meet - they never had a credit card, and they were lucky to graduate high school. But they had a garden, chickens, lots of canning and good ole depression homestyle cooking.

            Life's lessons are not all the same for everyone.

    •  I'm kind of surprised (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Zack from the SFV

      by your comment. You're usually a strong advocate for respect across differences; I can't believe you'd be an ageist.

      It's not just a zip code, it's an attitude.

      by sboucher on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 08:36:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  My grandfather's proudest accomplishment... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ...according to him was preventing a union from forming in his laundry.  At the age of 62, I think I have the right to my opinions.

        People attack boomers all the time because there are so many of us.  That's our parents' fault, not ours.  Our parents wanted to keep up with the Joneses and tried to instill that instinct in us.

        •  I don't question your opinion, nor your right (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          figbash, Zack from the SFV, BYw

          to have it. I object when someone paints any group with such a broad brush, no matter who it's coming from. You're the same age as my brother, so we're close enough in "generation." Our parents didn't give a damn about the Jonses. What they instilled in us was to love education, stand up for those who can't for themselves, do right by other people, be active in politics & always vote... Clearly, not all people of their generation were fixated on having things. Peace.

          It's not just a zip code, it's an attitude.

          by sboucher on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 10:04:31 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  If every Boomer was a WATB (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mimi9, figbash

          like you are no wonder we got a reputation as the most selfish generation.

          I am a peak Boomer and spend a lot of time fighting the 'Blame the Selfish Boomer' meme when it comes to Social Security, but I don't do it by bashing my  parents who were born in 1926 and 1928. And who didn't exactly have things easy, particularly my Dad who grew up in pretty abject poverty.

          And you don't earn a thing by living to any given age. Except I guess the right to shout at clouds and scream at children to get off your lawn. What happened in your life to make you so bitter at the age of 62? Christ at least McCain crashed three planes and spent years under torture, what's your excuse? Missed your ride to Woodstock? Got kicked in the head by a Hell's Angel while rushing the stage at Altamount?

          You seem to have no sense of history at all.

        •  I don't follow the logic (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          your father was a union buster, therefore all members of his generation were greedheads.

          Well my grandfather was a union organizer, does that imply that all members of his generation were collectivists?


          Now where did I put my shot glass?

          by aztecraingod on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 03:41:23 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elveta, maybeeso in michigan

    The lesson of that history is that you must not despair, that if you are right, and you persist, things will change. -Howard Zinn

    by blueyedace2 on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 07:05:41 PM PST

  •  Well put. (4+ / 0-)

    I'm concerned about the political tone of discussion on the topic but remain optimistic.  There is too much at stake and every elected officials' constituency is affected.  Lots of posturing with little action is my prediction.  medicare would be my bigger concern.

    "Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will." MLK

    by jmaier on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 07:05:52 PM PST

  •  There's a divide over SS all right (17+ / 0-)

    It's just not generational.

    Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

    by Robobagpiper on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 07:05:55 PM PST

    •  Those who would cut Social Security (14+ / 0-)

      adopt the phony pose that they are the moral ones, the "adults in the room." This is typical conservative bullshit. Per the estimable Philip E. Agre:

      Conservatism continually twists the language of conscience into its opposite. It has no choice: conservatism is unjust, and cannot survive except by pretending to be the opposite of what it is.

      "To impose its order on society,...conservatism must destroy conscience, democracy, reason, and language." - Philip E. Agre

      by psnyder on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 07:11:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Burkean Conservatism is not unjust (0+ / 0-)

        Not in its own eyes. Instead it is deeply rooted in Calvinism and the notion that the world is divided into the Elect and the Damned, where the signs of God's Grace are manifested in comfort to the comfortable and affliction to the afflicted.

        Combine God and Darwin and you get Social Darwinism. And various pathologies among the working classes as seen on Oprah. You just have to wish for it. And if it doesn't come in your lifetime surely it will come in the hereafter.

        Conservatives are not evil. Not exactly. They are just invested in ideas parallel with the one often expressed by cynical soldiers in wartime: "Kill them all and let God sort out them out". It just LOOKS like sociopathy. (And feels like it if you are on the delivery side of a B-52 bomb load)

    •  Who knew that there were so many (4+ / 0-)

      non-serious people in the country spanning all demographics except investment bankers and the ultrawealthy.

    •  But the divide isn't just created by politicians. (0+ / 0-)

      While many rightwing politicians are trying to play voting blocs against one another by proposing manipulative bullshit reforms which would save certain voting blocs from suffering any cuts, it's also a point of fact that the older voters who would benefit from such an unfair scheme are actively cheering these proposals.

      To me the biggest contributor to the 'divide' on this issue is the fact that there are plenty of rightwing voters in favor of mandating reforms which would save themselves from any benefit cuts, while placing all of the sacrifice in benefits AND the burden of higher taxes exclusively on future generations.

      Afterall, politicians wouldn't be touting such fundamentally unjust reforms (that are likely to lose in court anyways), if there wasn't an audience for it.

  •  "Won't Be There When I Retire" (20+ / 0-)

    Heh. I remember thinking that myself about Social Security, thirty years ago.

    Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

    "I play a street-wise pimp" — Al Gore

    by Ray Radlein on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 07:06:41 PM PST

  •  Tax Deal puts SS in great peril (14+ / 0-)

    Now that we've again given hundreds of billions to the very wealthiest Americans, there will be huge pressure to "bring down the deficit" by cutting Social Security and Medicare.

    What a crock.  Financing gifts to the wealthy on the backs of the elderly and sick people.

    What kind of society are we becoming.

  •  Unfortunately, there's less and less.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse, Mr Robert
    ...of a party divide too.

    The Constitution is a suicide pact.

    by Bush Bites on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 07:08:16 PM PST

  •  You May Feel It's Important But I Never Meet (0+ / 0-)

    people younger than boomers who don't believe they'll be getting less than those who came before them.

    That's why I think they can start cutting it back, not because the program doesn't have support, but because belief in my experience is so universal that it was never going to be as good for succeeding generations as it was for the first few.

    I'm glad to see it polling support, but I don't think that's good enough.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 07:08:23 PM PST

    •  When I was nineteen (10+ / 0-)

      more than three decades ago, people in their thirties and forties were telling me they didn't expect SS to be there for them. By my calculations all those folks are now drawing social security retirement benefits. And there's no real reason the rest of us all the way down the line won't be too when we're in our mid-sixties. Unless we give up and let rightwingers take it all away from us.

      "The Truth Shall Make Ye Fret" -- T. Pratchett, The Truth

      by congenitalefty on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 07:26:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  As long as FICA is being collected (2+ / 0-)

      Benefits can be paid out at SOME level, the projected exhaustion of the Trust Fund only meaning a cut to the scheduled baseline. The question is whether that cut means a worse result when expressed in terms of real basket of goods for Gen-X compared to Greatest Generation. And it doesn't.

      The relevant equation is 78% of 160% = 125%. Under current projections Trust Fund exhaustion in 2037 means a 22% cut to a benefit scheduled to be 60% better in real terms than retirees get today. Meaning all those whining Gen-Xers are bitching about a real basket of goods only 25% better than my Mom gets today. I cheekily dubbed this 'Rosser's Equation' after Prof Rosser of JMU who first pointed it out to me. And you can Google that. Or query Dean Baker, author of "Social Security: the Phony Crisis" who made the same point on publication of that book in 1999.

      Gen-X got chumped. After Googling 'Rosser's Equation' try a search on 'Butler Germanis Leninist Strategy' and be prepared to slap  the shit out of yourself for buying into any of this line of crap.

      On the other hand a 16% cut in contributions (2% of 12.4% combined) if not reversed actually brings about something closer to the doomsday scenario Gen-X has been convinced of all along.

      Social Security is not broke. But it can be broken. And unfortunately some of the President's Men seem intent on it. Including Jeffrey Liebman. Never heard of him? Well I am not surprised but on all evidence he is the architect of Obama Social Security policy. You could Google him and 'LMS' and do a double shit slapping on yourself.

  •  Grow up? (0+ / 0-)

    That's your argument?  That we're acting like little kids?  Please.

  •  Get ready to lobby this one (7+ / 0-)

    (apologies to those who have seen this before, but we all need to know how to do this)

    Calls are good, but grassroots meetings are much better and very easy to put together they get more attention than:

    Petitions: because signatures can;t be verified and many people don't even read them before signing them.

    Emails:  again, hard for a Congressional office to verify that they come from actual constituents

    Letters: Since 9-11, all snail mail to Congress undergoes so much scanning that it takes forever to get through.

    Calls: Calls are easier to make.  The action that appears to take the most effort gets the most attention

    So, quick how-to:

    First, identify your "ask". In this case, that there be no reduction of Social Security benefits whatsoever. Find one thing that you want the legislator to do: usually support or oppose a piece of legislation. Sometimes even sponsor one.  Having one ask is important, because having two gives them a chance to back down on one of them).

    Second: Get your talking points down.  No more than five, three are better. These are what you will say in the meeting.

    Third, identify your volunteers.  Obviously, they must all be actual voting-age constituents of the legislator in question.  Reach out to your friends. Do a quick search for local groups interested in your issue (environmental, health, local university)and ask the contact which members would be interested in coming along (don't ask "if", ask "which" or "how many".  "If" gives them a chance to say no.)  See if any group interested in your cause has already made a local effort on the issue; they will be more likely to provide volunteers.

    You want 20 volunteers, because half of them will drop out.

    Fourth, get the meeting.  This is easy: call the legislators office and say you've got 10 constituents who would like to meet with him/her in the district to discuss your issue.  4 out of 5 times you will get a number of dates and times within a day.

    Fifth: share the dates with your volunteers and pick the one most can make (this is where half will drop out)

    Sixth, get your talking points to your volunteers and make sure they review them

    Seventh: meeting day.  Meet 2 hours ahead of time in a location where you can rehearse and rehearse your talking points over and over.  Each point should be made by a different person, and each talker should rehearse introcusing the next talker and the next point: "and now, John/Jane will talk about..."

    Seventh, go to the meeting.  

    Thank the legislator for his or her time.

    Introduce everyone.

    Make your points.

    Ask if they will support your position by voting for/against the legislation in question.

    Never plead and never threaten.

    No matter what the answer, thank them again, and thank the staff.

    Tell the staff that you'll follow up with the

    Finally: everyone should write thank-you notes to the legislator and any staff you met (especially the scheduler).  This is polite, and it let's them know you're watching.  The organizer (you) should also write thank you notes to every volunteer, because they will be the first people you call for the next action.

    This kind of action will get the attention  of any type of legislator: so don't ignore state and local officials.  As I pointed out in a previous diary:  cumulative local change equals large national change.  The more actions, from condo board to county board, that produce actual policies, such as opportunities to recycle, save energy, donate to food banks, et cetera, the more we affect real conditions.  Local policy creates momentum for state and federal policy.

    In addition, those who become civic-minded stay civic minded.  The condo owner who votes for a recycling bin today supports county-wide energy savings tomorrow, votes for green state legislators next week, and supports progressive Congressional candidates down the line.  Maybe the voter becomes a candidate her/himself. (for more on this, see

    Recommended reading/listening/viewing  for radicals:

    The incomparable Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals. Online preview here  

    Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. by Robert Cialdini. This is the single most valuable book I have read on how to persuade and how to avoid being persuaded.

    Don't Think of an Elephant!: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate--The Essential Guide for Progressives, by George Lakoff. See also: Cognitive Policy Wonks and The Progressive Strategy Handbook Project

    Frank Luntz: everything he’s written.  He's a conservative message master, and you have to know the enemy.    Remember the great scene in Patton, when the victorious general shouted: “Rommel! You magnificent son of a bitch!  I READ YOUR BOOK!”

    Making the News: A Guide for Activists and Nonprofits, By Jason Salzman

    The Campaign Manager: Running and Winning Local Elections, By Catherine Shaw

    How To Win A Local Election,by Lawrence Grey

    The Opposition Research Handbook: Guide to Political Investigations

    Guerrilla Marketing

    Chomsky.Info  Many of Noam Chomsky’s insightful and frightening analyses

    Robert Newman’s History of Oil Thanks to GreyHawk for recommending this.


    To see how the combined direct costs of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars affects you see the National Priorities Project's and select your state and city.  


    Build Infrastructure:  Volunteer!  List of State and Local Democratic Parties


    Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. -Frank Zappa

    by TheGrandWazoo on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 07:12:56 PM PST

  •  I'd tip and rec if I could. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Krush, Misterpuff

    "Don't fall or we both go." Derek Hersey 1957-1993

    by ban nock on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 07:13:16 PM PST

  •  They've been doing this (8+ / 0-)

    My generation, the X'rs, have been a target of a very subtly waged propaganda campaign against Social Security. . . . I had been one of those who thought "Social Security is bankrupt and it will never be there for me."

    for a long, long time.

    I am here to tell you that the same arguments were used to propagandize some of the early Baby Boomers.

    One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.--A.A. Milne

    by Mnemosyne on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 07:16:14 PM PST

    •  Even the middle boomers (5+ / 0-)

      It's how they sold us the IRA and 401k's which will never fund our retirement.

      The thing about democracy, beloveds, is that it is not neat, orderly, or quiet. It requires a certain relish for confusion. Molly Ivans

      by MufsMom on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 07:41:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Those were also (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JohnInWestland, figbash

        intended to direct your monies, and mine, into Wall Street commissions, and were in part the way Corporate America was able to weasel out of its long-standing commitment to provide retirement pensions for long-term workers.

        One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.--A.A. Milne

        by Mnemosyne on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 07:43:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  They put the propaganda in print (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mimi9, Mnemosyne, figbash

      The whole campaign was laid out in detail in a 1983 paper in the Social Security issue of the Cato Journal by two guys that are still prominent opponents of Social Security. And the message discipline from then until now has been pretty much perfect, you could cut and paste just about every wingnut attack on Social Security from the program outlined in this from Stuart Butler and Peter Germanis Social Security Reform: Achieving a "Leninist" Strategy.

      It is all there, a long-range plan to split Gen-X from Boomers by blaming the latter for EVERY THING. Hence Grandpa Alan Simpson's 'Greedy Geezers'.

      Considered abstractly as an exercise in message marketing you have to admit that it was brilliant. Tinged with evil perhaps but brilliant all the same. Read and heed.

  •  Your generation is cynical ? (9+ / 0-)

    My generation, one of the more cynical and ironic in my view, has little confidence in institutions generally.

    You should be a baby boomer who cut their political teeth on VietNam, Watergate, and the murders of JFK/RFK/and Martin Luther King.  And that's for openers.

    Talk about cynicism and a distrust of institutions.  

    The Wonder Years weren't all that wonderful.  

    Was that a "dog whistle" or did you just fart?

    by ThAnswr on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 07:18:11 PM PST

  •  But damn (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    if we could only have invested our SS into some Wall Street magic.  Bonuses Bonuses Bonuses

    While obviously an important ally on this subject, I've seen some actual polls done by AARP (not necessarily re SS), and they can be pretty poorly constructed ... to be charitable.

  •  could not agree more with this (0+ / 0-)

    My generation, one of the more cynical and ironic in my view, has little confidence in institutions generally. Having come up in an era of changes in the family structure, radical changes in the economic arrangements, and the advent of the information age, we are a socially detached and pessimistic generation.

    must not spam thread.must not spam thread.must not spam thread.must not spam thread.

    by Krush on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 07:18:44 PM PST

  •  Obama, the GOP leadership, and the Democratic... (6+ / 0-)

    ...Congress have now created the Social Security crisis that the programs detractors have been dreaming of and lying about for generations.

    Congrats to the lot of them!

    Hands off our Social Security!

    by GreenSooner on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 07:19:09 PM PST

  •  All very nive but still its irrelevant (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SuetheRedWA, congenitalefty

    Sadly this is all quite nice but the dirty reality is that folks deal with what they have when they have to do so -

    If SS is defunded as the Republicans want sooner or later we will hit the critical mass of having to either scale it back or shutdown the program. Obama has gladly started this process.  In a year the Republicans will demand the cut be extended or claim before Obama's re-election that he's raising "your" taxes.  Of course Obama will cave once again and the cut will be 2 years - ultimately to become permanent.  At that point in time you can kiss Social Security good-bye and it will have been Obama that killed it!

    I know the Obama loyalist don't like this but it will be Obama that destroys Social Security and those folks in the Democratic Party that still support him will have helped.  Its time for all Democrats to realize that he will destroy the Democratic Party and all it has accomplished and all it stands for -

    •  why the fix is in for year 2 - (0+ / 0-)

      It just occurred to me that the framework already exist to keep the defunding of SS going for a second year.  Besides the cut in SS tax ending next year there is also the end of the Unemployment Insurance extension.  So, the fix for the Republicans and Obama is simple - they will extend the Unemployment Insurance extension if he agrees to extend the cut in SS tax.

      Done deal.  My guess is that's already agreed to - just waiting till Xmas of 2011 to announce it! Stay tuned for the next edition of the "DC Kabuki Theater" -

  •  I don't think SS willbe there for me... (3+ / 0-)

    I often argued this point with my Dad, a child of the Depression, when I was in my 20's. I am 43 now and I still don't think it will be there for me. Not because of the program going broke. I don't trust the Republicans to do anything to secure my future, and after the last tax deal...I don't trust the Democrats to fight to protect it.

    Rest in Peace Mom - 1926 - 2010 (-8.25, -7.85)

    by Mark E Andersen on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 07:21:29 PM PST

  •  This comment should be a sig line: (2+ / 0-)

    They know their views are only held by a small, wealthy elite. So they seek to convince us all of something most of know is false.

    For it is true for
    Social Security
    Publicly beneficial/universal Health Care
    Climate Change, CO2 emissions
    Renewable Energy vs Non-renewable energy
    Estate Taxes
    Government NOT being there as a partner for the people who elect it

    The media does a disservice to us all by manipulating public opinion at the behest and singular benefit of the ultra-rich vs everyone else.

    "You Still drilling for oil? Well good luck, I mean it. Idiot. Shine, Baby, Shine." JR Ewing

    by Unenergy on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 07:24:09 PM PST

  •  I hadn't planned on being dependent on Social (6+ / 0-)

    Security and I figured it wouldn't be around for me anyway.   Wrong on both counts.

    I ran into identity theft by a relative who stripped most of what I had put away, finished off by the economy, so here I am almost fully dependent on SS and Medicare.  I hated the way the prescription thing was passed and what it did, but it has been a godsend.

    Worth fighting for for everyone.  If they succeed in killing off SS, or cutting it drastically, this isn't my country any more.  

    I'm hoping people get mad enough at the tax mess to really make a change for the better.

    Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices. ~Voltaire from La Feminista

    by maybeeso in michigan on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 07:25:23 PM PST

  •  What's more, this so-called "greediest... (8+ / 0-)

    ...generation" has been paying extra into Social Security for 30 years, since Reagan raised the payroll tax, in order to fund their retirement.

    Fuck Alan Simpson and whoever who put him in charge of the Catfood Commission.

    Obama stands with war profiteers, torturers, Wall Street, health insurance companies, Big PhARMA, Big Oil and Social Security-haters. Good at photo ops, though.

    by expatjourno on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 07:29:09 PM PST

    •  Alan Simpson isn't in charge (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      expatjourno, MixedContent, Mr Robert

      and the whole Catfood Commission shares his perspective, including the so-called "moderates" like Pete Peterson (the one actually "in charge" of the whole fancy feast), and the so-called "liberals" Erskine Bowles and Alice Rivlin, at best every single one of them wants to privatize Social Security, and some of them want to discard it entirely--including the "liberals" and "Democrats" on the Commission.  It was pre-stacked to produce only Catfood, that's why it's the Catfood Commission.

      Laws and government may be considered in this and indeed in every case as a combination of the rich to oppress the poor ~Adam Smith

      by ActivistGuy on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 07:52:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yup. I know. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Obama stands with war profiteers, torturers, Wall Street, health insurance companies, Big PhARMA, Big Oil and Social Security-haters. Good at photo ops, though.

        by expatjourno on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 10:44:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Not the whole Catfood Commission (0+ / 0-)

          There were a few progressives on the commission, mostly House members like Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) who did not agree with its recommendations, which were supported by only 11 of the 18 members of the panel. Schakowsky presented some alternatives that made much more sense, but have little chance of passage in the upcoming Congress.

        I'm not a Limousine Liberal; I am a Prius Progressive

        by Zack from the SFV on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 12:45:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Hands Off Social Security (0+ / 0-)

    I'm thinking a website with the URL "handsoffsocialsecurity" would be right on target about now.

    And the "to do list" that TheGrandWazoo posted (above) should be posted there. And on MoveOn's website, and on DFA's website, etc.

    If we don't draw the line in the sand and insist that cutting SS is unacceptable, we will get rolled again and again.

    Coalition building with seniors groups would also be a good idea -- seniors vote and politicians know it. A coalition advocating against future cuts in SS that includes multiple senior groups would seem to me it to have more cred -- ans scare politicians of both parties.

    And to all those who are pessimistic @ this point...recall how confident GW Bush and the GOP Congress were that they could take a huge stab at SS about 10 years ago -- and they failed. Why? Well a big part of it was the website "thereisnocrisis" and all the organizing around that message by a huge range of citizens and activists. Just because some Dems seem to have made an evil alliance with the GOP on this doesn't mean they can't be effectively opposed. But it will be tough and we have to be strategic. Beyond getting our own folks on board, some messaging to conservatives and right wingers about the government trying to force your mother and sister and you to eat catfood in old age -- I would imagine such a message run over and over on FOX News and right wing radio might reach some wingers...and it wouldn't cost too much in terms of ad rates. If even a small percentage of conservatives and Tea Party folks got pissed and scared about this -- hey, they fell for the death panel baloney, right? -- and started whinging to their representatives whether Democrat or Republican, as well as the mainstream media -- they could have a real impact. And if that was happening in tandem with liberals/progressives doing the same, along with a lot of indies who care about this too -- I think this could be a successful campaign.

    It's disgusting we're at this point, but it's sadly where we are. We either give up or fight. Too much is at stake to give up.

    "The country we carry in our hearts is waiting." ~ Bruce Springsteen

    by abs0628 on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 07:36:43 PM PST

  •  "The Big Lie About Social Security" NY Review of (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mimi9, antirove, figbash, stolen water

    Books: The Big Lie..."

    The president’s 18-member fiscal commission, which must report its recommendations by December 1, will almost certainly use its political ammunition against Social Security. Why? Because its members can’t agree on cuts related to Medicare or Medicaid, or related to health care reform in general, that will have a meaningful effect on future costs. In contrast, after years of denigration by some politicians and economists, Social Security benefits have become a comparatively easy target.

    Tied up in this is the inexplicable notion that current Social Security benefits—which for the second year in a row are not being adjusted for inflation—are adequate. The average monthly benefit is now $1400. And Social Security accounts for 90 percent of income for one third of retired Americans. Women receive less on average because they have fewer working years. And now most American workers have seen their 401(k) savings fall sharply as a result of the financial crisis. More important, the value of homes, which are many Americans’ main asset, has collapsed.

    This is no way to run a government. Of course the trillion-dollar increase in the deficit, coupled with the rise in Washington of vocal and well-financed deficit hawks, has put pressure on the administration. Adding to this have been the many campaign ads attacking big government that have filled the airwaves as the election approaches. But why is Obama throwing his weight behind vigorous deficit reduction?

    "History is a tragedy, not a melodrama." - I.F.Stone

    by bigchin on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 07:45:14 PM PST

  •  It doesn't matter one whit that 80% or 90% (4+ / 0-)

    of this country's citizens want Social Security protected.
    Damned close to 100% of this country's wealthy want it killed, and that's all that matters, since they're the ones the country is run of, by, and for.

    In honor of the repeal of DADT, this signature will temporarily refrain from its usual Obama bashing. For now.

    by jazzmaniac on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 07:48:31 PM PST

    •  Not so much they want it "killed" per se (5+ / 0-)

      as that they want to get their hands on it to play with in the "markets"m to use for speculation on the latest "derivatives" and other "investment vehicles".  All with nice fat "management fees" and used to pump up the value of their own investments, or to unload their worthless crap onto.

      Laws and government may be considered in this and indeed in every case as a combination of the rich to oppress the poor ~Adam Smith

      by ActivistGuy on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 07:55:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  conservatives are looters at heart. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mr Robert

        from bernanke's confirmation:

        Citing legendary bank robber Willie Sutton, Bernanke said of the retirement and health care funds that are the legacy of the New Deal: "That's where the money is."


        Bernanke reminded Congress that it has the power to repeal Social Security and Medicare.

        obama: we have done things that people don't even know about. (that's what i'm afraid of.)

        by stolen water on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 08:13:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I want a credible cite (0+ / 0-)

          For this claim concerning Bernanke actually saying what you claim about SS and Medicare.  IN CONTEXT!

          •  it's easy enough to google, (0+ / 0-)

            my dear.

            obama: we have done things that people don't even know about. (that's what i'm afraid of.)

            by stolen water on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 08:24:38 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yup.. I founnd several (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Zack from the SFV

              And I agree with Bernanke.  Something will have to be done about MEDICARE very soon.  And income taxes may have to be raised to redeem the bonds in the SS trust funds.  Congress has the powers to do what is necessary in any case.

              The solution to the Medicare problem is evident.  All persons that want to enroll in the Medicare insurance system paying full premium rates as based on costs should be allowed to do so.  Seniors would continue to get subsidized insurance just as now.  The premiums for the younger people can be cost plus 3 or 4% and it would be a good deal for everyone.  No force, no mandates, no problem.  As the MEDICARE pool increased to encompass a HUGE number of subscribers, the Medicare insurance company could almost dictate prices.  THAT IS HOW MEDICAL COSTS ARE MANAGED.

              Bernanke is a realist. He can see that MEDICARE is in very deep shit unless medical inflation can be controlled.  And Congress has the power to fix it.

    •  It's the bonds that will have to be paid back (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stolen water

      to SS to keep paying out benefits.  It will require a chunk from them.  SS is fully funded, but the conversion to bonds with tax benefits the rich love cannot go on.  At some point soon, Congress can no longer keep raiding SS replacing cash with bonds.  The other risk is not being able to pay the interest due on the bonds due to failure to collect enough revenue...which tax cuts will make a bigger risk.  The rich would prefer to make SS recipients suffer rather than lose their bond interest.

      When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

      by antirove on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 08:04:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The truth about the trust fund. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jazzmaniac, antirove, figbash

        The SS trust fund is an accounting of the excess taxation heaped on the wage earners over the last 25 years so as to allow tax cuts for the rich.  The rich were supposed to take these tax breaks and INVEST them so as to provide better and more plentiful jobs.  They did.  They invested and created jobs in China.  That trust fund is what they owe to the wage earning people in this country.  That means that income taxes on the rich must be increased to pay the debt that THEY created.

  •  Social Security is about REALITY (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The "reality" is that Libertarians and their ilk cannot abide the concept of insurance of any kind. ALL insurance systems are social systems; every stinkin' one of em.  When your barn burns down the rest of the people in the society formed by the policy holders of the insurance company pay to have your barn rebuilt.  The cost of the premiums is based on the actuarial reality of number of barns that burn out of all the barns there are.  Social Security is really no different at all but for the fact that we will all be disabled by age for certain.  So we pay the premiums KNOWING we will need the benefits if we don't strike it rich.  In a way, I suppose, it is insurance against not hitting the big one or winning the lottery or picking the right stocks.  And if we are fortunate and work hard and apply ourselves and pick the right stocks or horses then "the barn won't burn". I don't think anyone really WANTS to collect on their insurance policies.  Much better if the barn doesn't burn or if we no longer need the barn.

  •  As a mid-boomer, (3+ / 0-)

    I heard all the same crap about SS.  I'm glad you wised up, but I sure wish there were a way to get the real message out there.  If the program is administered as it should be and not raided for every damned thing, it will continue to keep seniors from dying in abject poverty.  It will be a vicious fight.  

    All the legislators who want to undo it don't have a thing to worry about.  Their own futures are secure with government pensions and private plans that they get from the lobbyists who hire them after they 'serve.'  

    The business folks who want to suck every drop out of us will survive quite nicely, whether they get all our money or not.  

    Many of the 'middle class,' who thought they'd taken prudent steps to assure their retirement, were all but wiped out in the recession debacle.  It's their animosity toward SS that astounds me most.  The one thing that would be there for them, no matter what, is SS, and yet they vote for people who'd take that away, too.

    -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

    by luckylizard on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 08:03:31 PM PST

  •  There may be no generational divide... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stolen water, Mr Robert

    But the #1 diary is currently devoted to mocking those concerned about the future of Social Security.

    Social Security can be killed...but only by a Democratic President, who can count on support from both GOP ideologues and from supporters too dim to think past mere partisanship.

    Hands off our Social Security!

    by GreenSooner on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 08:03:55 PM PST

  •  Conservatives like Social Security... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    valadon, sboucher

    They're just against everyone else getting Social Security.

  •  My generation is so greedy that... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mimi9, stolen water, Mr Robert

    My generation is so greedy that we let Congress double our payroll taxes so we could fund the retirement of the generation ahead of us and build up a trust fund for our own retirement.  We sat still for pushing back our retirement age from 65 to 66, too.  

    Now the catfooders want us to pay again.  And President Obama is going to hit us with Social Security cuts in the SOTU.  We're beyond angry now.  

  •  Good diary, BBB. (2+ / 0-)

    That survey proves that it won't be difficult to take the steps needed to keep SS solvent for a long time. Raising the income cap should be one part of that, and in a few years (assuming the economy improves) FICA can be increased by 1 percent to 1.5 percent for both employee and employer.

    In future, Social Security benefits need to be increased because of the trend in reduced retirement plans by employers.

    Slavery is the legal fiction that a person is property. Corporate personhood is the legal fiction that property is a person. -Jan Edwards

    by SoCalSal on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 08:13:08 PM PST

  •  Under 50 (0+ / 0-)
    If you are under 50 and have not started planning your retirement without government assistance then slap your parents for not teaching you anything.
    •  I don't expect to retire (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Zack from the SFV

      I don't think that what we regard as retirement now is in my future or that of a lot of people around my age or younger.  I suspect I'll be needing to work in some way right up until I die.

      Procrastination: Hard work often pays off after time, but laziness always pays off now.

      by Linnaeus on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 08:36:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Basically impossible (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      This is a pipe-dream. That you can retire without government help.

      All 4 of my grandparents lived to their 90's. There is simply no way that I can accumulate enough in my 40 working years to save up enough to last 30 years of retirement, when you consider that a good 25 of those working years are spent raising my children.

  •  At this rate... (0+ / 0-)

    I don't think it will be there for me (a 20 year old) either because eventually, some republican administration will hand it over to Wall Street, causing another Depression that will make the 30's look like a carnival ride.

    Show me a teabagger concerned about the deficit, and I'll show you the world's worst hypocrite.

    by farleftloon on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 08:16:19 PM PST

  •  WHAT IF: (0+ / 0-)

    SS benefits were paid by "quantitative easing"???  What if the bonds in the trust fund PLUS FICA taxes were funded by created money from Jupiter or Saturn or from the Magician's hat???  Wages would be increased by 14% or so and the economy would probably take off like a rocket ship.  Inflation caused by money in the hands of the worker bees is not a bad deal.

    At present we have QE2 where the FED will be buying down the debt owed to the private sector (strangely enough referred to as "the public debt") by $600B.  Perhaps the FED and the American people should begin to look into the future and see a better way to balance out the costs of SS and Medicare without endangering those systems.

  •  Most Americans believe in taking care of others. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    figbash, Zack from the SFV, sboucher

    But, if that's not enough reason, there is always the fact that if SS goes down, your parents and grandparents will have to move in with you.

    "We live now in hard times, not end times." Jon Stewart

    by tb92 on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 08:33:38 PM PST

  •  So why is Obama trying to undermine (2+ / 0-)
    the last remaining hope of the middle class? He has to know what he's doing to Social Security!
  •  How can we expect the younger generations (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    to understand how Social Security works, or even how it was started by F.D.R's Democratic Administration! Since the Repubs got their mitts on public education and put stress on rote memory type tests that must be approved by their Repub state boards teachers have stopped teaching it to the kids! I was teaching when they took over and they changed the curriculum so that we stopped teaching critical thinking skills and were forced to teach rote memory items and teach to the state tests! Now the Obama Administration has made it worse, by tying teacher's salaries to how well their students do on the stupid tests the Repubs created! In our county the county gave a separate set of tests and found that our high school seniors don't understand how interest works or even fractions (since these items are not on the state test) but we are teaching 6 graders about "opportunity cost!" No wonder the younger generations can't make decisions that require critical thinking and believe the lies that Fox Noise puts out all the time. This is what the Repubs and the oligarchy of wealth they represent want, slave labor who cannot think for themselves and are just happy to have a job and enough money to feed their family while living in slum housing! Get the Radical Repubs out of public education and let teachers go back to teaching critical thinking!

    A progressive voice in the rightwing wilderness of Allegan County, Michigan!

    by Ken the Troll on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 09:29:15 PM PST

  •  EVERY TIME THE lie about SS is printed or spoken (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    it needs to be refuted. Fast and furious. I watch my local paper blog and when these columnists etc...promote the big lie, I counter it and challenge the fool. We have to start addressing these issues on the local level. In letters to the editor and whatever avenue presents itself. We don't have FOX of the US Chamber, but we do have each other and we outnumber the loud mouth fools. Also, a lot of the tpartiers will go away, if their pay checks don't arrive. It is time we drain the swamp, on town at a time across the nation.

  •  The "Baby Boomer" Problem Was Fixed Years Ago (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mimi9, JohnInWestland

    The baby boomers are not responsible for any Social Security problems. This was all fixed years ago in the 1983 Amendments to Social Security, which was signed into law by Ronald Reagan.

    The real problem is that we've been losing jobs and wages for decades. Wages have declined by 8% or so since the 1970s and, of course, the unemployment rate speaks for itself. Remember that every dollar not paid in wages is 10.6 cents out of the Social Security fund. We have lost probably hundreds of billions of dollars because wages have not risen along with worker productivity and jobs have been lost to mismanagement of the economy.

    The Republicans are the most responsible for this, along with those Democrats that have enabled them by taking on their talking points and compromising on the fundamentals of the economy. (I'm talking to you, Mr. President.)

    If Obama proposes to cut Social Security it is only because he wants to, and he will be fully to blame for it. He cannot hide behind any Republicans skirts on that one. He might as well change parties if he's going to come to us in the SOTU and talk about such a thing.

  •  Social Security is the ONE government program (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    that gets mailed on time; is as current as the wind and let that be a lesson to everyone who wants the States to control everything.  It takes 8 to 9 weeks in FL to get your unemployment check after you are let go at a company.  That is ridiculous!

  •  Imagine their objection... (0+ / 0-)

    They don't like Social Security taxes because of their greed. They know their views are only held by a small, wealthy elite.

    ...if they actually had to pay them.

    The community of fools might be small if it were not such an accomplished proselytizer.

    by ZedMont on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 07:46:31 AM PST

  •  I'd rather pay into social security (0+ / 0-)

    than have my parents show up with their stuff and barge into my house and live there.

    Boy would that put a damper on how I live.

    "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." -- George Bernard Shaw

    by Inspector Javert on Mon Dec 20, 2010 at 09:36:35 AM PST

  •  A government program that works (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Must really irk the conservative dickheads.

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