Angie Pratt: Social Security - A Line In The Sand
Social Security - A Line In The Sand
By: Angie Pratt
It is do or die time for the Democrats. The Republicans can not be allowed to eviscerate Social Security. This issue, of all issues, stands at the very heart of what the Democratic Party stands for. In all reality, this issue, of all issues, defines the Democratic Party.
Benefits may need to be adjusted. Retirement age may have to be adjusted. Taxes may have to be adjusted. An open and spirited debate on making social security strong enough to meet the challenges of time is a must.
But the principle feature of this program must go untouched. Namely, Social Security is a public insurance program. There is nothing private about it.
Democratic lawmakers can not in any way shape or form agree to allow the Republicans to strike what could be a mortal blow to Social Security. Democratic lawmakers must go on the offensive not only to beat back this poorly disguised attempt to do away with the New Deal but must show it for what it is - an attempt to get rid of entitlement programs in their entirety.
This is a litmus test. You can not be a Democrat and support this concept. You can not be a Democrat and agree to privatization. There is no room for "wishy-washiness" here.
It is time to draw a line in the sand.
Is there a Social Security crisis? No. Social Security has a trust fund that is backed by the government of the United States. If these IOU's are worthless, then somebody better tell China, Japan and the rest of the world who are gobbling up US Government IOU's by the truckload to finance our exploding trade deficit.
Is there a budget deficit crisis? Yes. The Bush Administration has cut taxes too much. Supply side economic theory doesn't say zero taxes. It simply states that at some point there are too many taxes. It's corollary is true as well. There can be too few. The lines have crossed on the graphs and we are sinking quickly down the diminishing returns curve. It's time to be fiscally responsible and talk about raising taxes.
As the Republican propaganda machine roles out with its audiovisuals and armies of paid consultants, the Democrats must be prepared to call a spade a spade. There is no room for compromise of this issue.
If the Republican Party would like to make the 2006 election a referendum of Social Security privatization then so be it. This is not a fight to run away from. It is a fight that must be confronted head on -- with no confusion.
Written by Angie Pratt ( http://www.politicalposts.com).