The Strengthen Social Security Campaign

Social Security is once again under attack.
Time after time Social Security has come under attack. Do you remember the Bush “privatization” campaign a few years ago? Each time the attack uses a different myth, repeated over and over. Then, in between attacks, the myths continue circulating. This time they’re trying to make people think that Social Security contributes to the budget deficit. It doesn’t. They say this because so many people are worried about budget deficits. If polling showed that people were worried that their arms are going to turn into green cheese, they would be repeating and repeating that Social Security is the reason your arms are turning into green cheese. Sheesh!
In response to the latest attack a coalition of groups has formed to fight back and protect Social Security, demanding that Congress not make any benefit cuts. The coalition represents 30 million members, who are asked to remind elected officials that Social Security remains the “third rail” of American politics and that any sort of benefit cuts are opposed by wide majorities, from liberals to Tea Partiers.
The coalition is saying Strengthen Social Security, Don’t Cut It. Their website is strengthensocialsecurity.org and its blog is at strengthensocialsecurity.org/blog.
Most important, its petition is available to sign here.

The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility is trying to cut Social Security benefits. We can’t let that happen.
Can you sign our urgent petition to the Commission?
Social Security belongs to the people who have worked hard all their lives and contributed to it. Social Security is a promise that must not be broken. If you pay in, then you earn the right to benefits for yourself, your spouse and your dependent children when you retire, experience a severe disability, or die.
We need to strengthen Social Security, not cut it. That is why I oppose any cuts to Social Security benefits, including increasing the retirement age. I also oppose any effort to privatize Social Security, in whole or in part.

Meet Billy Bankster! Please watch this video from the coalition:

Here are videos from the launch event. First is Terry O’Neill, president of the National Organization for Women (NOW):

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A Bad Ad In A Teachable Moment

The AFL-CIO, AFSCME, SEIU, MoveOn.org, Americans United for Change, USAction, and True Majority are going to spend millions of dollars running an ad against targeted Republicans urging them to override President Bush’s veto of SCHIP, the child health coverage bill. The ad says the candidates are targeted because they support “Billions of Dollars for Iraq War, But Veto for Children’s Health Care”

My problem with the ad is that it does not teach a larger lesson. This is “a teachable moment.” People are upset that President Bush is vetoing this bill, but they do not understand the deeper ideological principals behind what is happening to them. This is an opportunity to teach people that conservatives believe in a you-are-on-your-own, dog-eat-dog philosophy and progressives believe we are all in this together for each other.
The ad says “George Bush and his backers would rather send half a trillion to Iraq than spend a fraction of that here to keep our kids healthy.” Even by changing “and his backers” to “and the conservatives” they could have let people know that it isn’t just Bush and it isn’t about particular politicians, it’s the conservative ideology that is hurting them. This issue is about differences in philosophy between conservatives and progressives.
But instead of teaching the public a lesson about what is happening to us all, this coalition will spend millions running this ad against individual politicians, and in the end the money will literally just go up in the air(waves) and nothing will remain behind.