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Why Do They Hate Social Security?
  by Joe Conason


Among the mysteries of modern politics in America is why so many of our leading pundits and
politicians persistently seek to undermine Social Security, that enduring and successful emblem
of active government. In the current atmosphere of budgetary panic, self-proclaimed "centrists"
are joining with ideologues of the right in yet another campaign against the program — and yet
again they are misinforming the public about its purposes, costs and prospects.

Among the puzzling aspects of the crusade against Social Security is the zeal that animates its
enemies, as if the present and future recipients of those monthly checks were somehow fattening
themselves at the expense of future generations. Whatever drives these well-fed but poorly
informed commentators, it isn't the facts.

First, let's remember that Social Security actually provides support at a very modest level.
Last year, the average retirement benefit was $1,170 a month, or about $14,000 a year,
with the average disabled worker or widow receiving slightly less.

(It would be wonderfully educational for the cable talkers and newspaper editorialists to
live on $1,170 for a
few months — they would lose weight, but gain empathy.)

Remember, too, that despite our status as the largest and most productive economy in the world,
Social Security is among the least generous retirement programs among all the developed nations.
As a percentage of the average worker's pre-retirement wages, the benefit has been declining for
years and will continue to fall without any further cutbacks.

They want to kill SS because that means the billionaires could take home an extra $100 a month.
If Grandma has to eat cat food to stay alive, fuck her.

Obama took away 40% of her heat subsidy in this record-breaking winter.
Might as well take her food and medicine away, too.

What good are old people?


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