It has become pitifully clear in the last few weeks that Obama's so-called "Deficit Commission" was deliberately overloaded with deficit vultures who would march in lockstep to gin up yet another Social Security "crisis" as propaganda. The agenda these right-wing experts, led by billionaire Pete Peterson, are following has a single item, a single goal: to weaken all "entitlement" programs, especially Social Security, by creating an atmosphere of dread in which everyone finally accepts that SocSec is not a permanent feature of the social network but a temporary, unreliable, and hopelessly vulnerable mistake whose time has come and gone.
The success of this blatant con job has yet to be measured in any realistic sense but that hasn't stopped the RWNM from announcing that it's all over bar the shouting. Rupert Murdock's Fair and Balanced (Not) Wall Street Journal today features a little piece which sadly notes that, gee, nobody don't believe in SocSec no more.
Six out of 10 Americans who are still working believe they will not receive Social Security benefits when they retired, according to the latest Gallup poll. It is the most pessimistic Americans have been since Gallup began asking the question in 1989.
1989, it should be said, was a year when dear old Poppy was screeching that SocSec was IN TROUBLE!!!!, using a tactic that had been used by Reagan previously with some success. The problem with Obama's pulling the same trick is that this makes about the 7th time in the last 30 years that conservatives have screeched about how Soc Sec is IN TROUBLE!!! and every single time it has turned out to be a lie. When Dubya tried his Ownership Society scam as a ruse to privatize SocSec, he didn't fool anybody and for one of the few times in his presidency, he went crashing to defeat.
We're just not that stoopid. You can only cry "Wolf!" so often before people stop jumping up and running around terrified and instead start asking, "Yeah? Where?" or box your ears for trying that same retarded joke for the 119th time.
Leno gets a dig in at Jim Clyburn and his fellow members of Congress who see no problem with shoveling billions into bankrupt banks, and taking it out of the pockets of senior citizens (2:27):
"Congress wants to vote to raise the retirement age to 70….They plan to vote to not let Americans retire until they're 70. I think that's fair, because a lot of Americans plan to vote to retire them in November. So, it'll work out."
Leno's audience righteously boos at the idea, and well they should. Raising the retirement age to 70 would amount to a 20% benefit cut, which would push 1.5 million senior citizens into poverty.
If wishes were horses, Rupert Murdock would have a stableful named SocSec Is Dead, but we're a long way from that yet. They don't call SocSec the Third Rail of American politics for nothing, and whether or not the deficit vulture commission is successful in convincing us that we have to stop worrying about pauperizing our parents and/or grandparents for the sake of bank profiteering, hasn't been decided. And let's face it, the arguments the vultures have to use aren't exactly righteous.
(Click to enlarge image)
Obama may be as scared of the Right as my daughter was of beetles when she was 9, but unless he has become a Mitch McConnell-style ideological moron, he isn't going to get behind arguments like the above if there's any voter pushback at all.
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