Whitesburg KY
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Mostly cloudy

Nothing new under the gun

To the Editor:

Republicans have been determined to shoot down Social Security since its inception in 1936 and before the first check was issued in 1937.

Social Security is “fatally flawed”, the promised benefits are a “hoax”, the taxes paid into the trust fund are “wasted” rather than invested for maximum return, and “the so-called reserve fund is no reserve at all.” These partial quotes are not from Bush’s 60 Cities in 60 Days stumping but from the lips of Alf Landon and the party’s platform when he ran for President in 1936. The first Social Security check was not issued until 1937. So, the ideologues and money interests were singing their gloom and doom Social Security swan song and attempting to undermine the program before it even started.

Dismantling Social Security has been the focus of the rightwingers for nearly 70 years and it’s been a seriously embedded goal of Republican presidential politics since the right made its grab for the GOP’s national leadership with Barry Goldwater’s unsuccessful run in 1964.

Nothing that George W. Bush is saying is new. Just as Bush is doing, Goldwater preached a sermon of a collapsing system 40 years ago, declaring that the system “is not actually sound” and that all he wanted to do was make the system solvent and improve it.

Then, along came Reagan calling for the same type of privatization: “can’t we introduce voluntary aspects that would allow individuals to do better on their own?”

While politicians from Goldwater to George W. Bush have portrayed their assault on Social Security as an attempt to “saving” it with the cure-all of private accounts, it’s actually the program itself that bugs them. The right wing has always been antigovernment and against the obvious need to assure people a basic level of retirement security. These are laissez-faire extremists who loathe the notion of anything public and are against any program that supports anything other than military and corporate interests.

For them, America is not about a people uniting to share society’s burdens and to stretch the chances of individual accomplishments, what they are about is people watching out for themselves and being unhobbled by any concern for the larger society.

George W. is squawking about the urgency of a crisis in Social Security as though the situation suddenly appeared on his radar. In 1978, he was pushing the same buttons while seeking a Texas congressional seat. He predicted the program would be kaput in 10 years unless some changes are made. His suggested changes should be to allow people the change to invest the Social Security money the way they desired.

Fast track ahead 20 years to 1997 as Governor of Texas and priming his Karl Rove-engineered run for the presidency, he stated that he believed that privatizing Social Security was the most important issue facing the nation.

More evident that the fix the right is seeking is “fix” as in neuter. They will not be happy until they see the program in shambles.

So, alas, poor George continues to be held prisoner by denial and a stranger to reality. He warps his words and filters truth from the facts and uses the dregs attempting to blindside we the people into believing that his “crisis” is other than a figment of his imagination.

JOE DRENNAN Moultrie, Ga.

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