Blaming Social Security For Deficits Is Like Blaming Iraq For 9/11 (And Unions In WI)

This post originally appeared at Campaign for America’s Future (CAF) at their Blog for OurFuture. I am a Fellow with CAF.
Isn’t it funny how the corporate conservatives always offer the same solutions to every problem? Even when the solution doesn’t really have much to do with the problem? Iraq didn’t attack us, and Social Security doesn’t have anything to do with deficits. But the “solution” to 9/11 was to attack Iraq, and the proposed “solution” to deficits is to “fix” Social Security. And the “solution” to state budget crises is to get rid of public employee unions. Why?
Got a crisis? A tax cut will fix it. Getting rid of unions will fix it. Privatizing Social Security will fix it. And gutting government solves everything. Doesn’t even matter what the problem is!
“Nothing is more important in the face of war than cutting taxes” Tom DeLay, 2003
Iraq And 9/11
Remember when everyone was in panic about Iraq? IA bunch of Saudis working with an organization based in Afghanistan attacked us on 9/11. The solution immediately offered by the corporate right was to invade Iraq, increase military spending and … cut taxes!
We were told that Saddam was getting ready to attack us with anthrax, smallpox, more terrorists and even nukes. Etc. On and on. How many different stories did we hear in the “runup” to the war of “shock and awe” that has cost so many lives and more than a trillion dollars? Let’s teach “those people” a lesson. It will be “a cakewalk” and will “pay for itself.”
The thing is, invading Iraq was a pre-packaged solution waiting for an excuse. When the excuse came, they ran with it. It’s what they do. We should learn from this.
They have a number of pre-packaged solutions” on the shelf and when a crisis pops up — or when they can create one — the “solutions” pop out of the box, ready to go.
Always A Crisis
Isn’t it funny how these “crises” keep coming up? People whipped into a panic, over and over (and over and over.)
Right now people are whipped into a panic about the deficit crisis. The “solution?” Gut the things government does for regular people, including Social Security (which by law cannot borrow, so can’t cause deficits._ They are even going to force a government shutdown — another crisis. Meanwhile the huge military budget is “off the table.” All this right after they just passed more tax cuts for the rich.
Social Security is in “crisis?” People are in a panic. Everyone “knows” we have to “fix” it. We are told this over and over and over and over. (The “crisis” is that in 2037 it will have a shortfall, and might have to cut benefits. The solution to the crisis of a cut in benefits is to cut benefits.)
State budgets are in crisis? People are in a panic. Solution? Blame unions and worker pensions (and cut taxes.) That’s what’s happening in Wisconsin. And Ohio. And Indiana. And Missouri. And New Hampshire. And Michigan. And Minnesota. And other states, many not even limiting the attack to public-employee unions.
Corporate/Conservative Pre-Packaged “Solutions”
How often do you see the same solutions offered up for any given problem? Tax cuts for the rich, gut government, get rid of unions, privatize Social Security, etc. (And more tax cuts for the rich.) When something shocking happens the right always has ready-to-go, pre-packaged solution waiting in the wings that they offer to fix the problem.
Take Wisconsin for example. They ginned up the appearance of a budget crisis, got everyone worked up, and wham-o, introduce a bill to kill public-employee unions, gutting worker pay and pensions and their ability to do anything about it.
But in fact, like so many of their “solutions” this was something they already wanted to do, and were just waiting for the opportunity to push it through, or creating the crisis to bring about the opportunity to push it through.
These pre-packaged “free-market” “solutions” are not what the public wants, but are always forced through before anyone can react. They don’t solve problems, just make the rich richer at the expense of the rest of us.
The Solutions Never Work — For US
When the public is worried, stirred up, hopefully to the point of panic you put in your pre-arranged “solution” and start getting them stirred up about the next problem you will “solve.” And those conservative solutions never seem to work out.
The deficits get worse, wages don’t go up, retirement gets harder… This is because the real purpose of these “solutions” — cut taxes, cut what government does for regular people, get rid of unions, privatize social security and for good measure cut taxes more — are not to solve the problem they were offered up to fix. They have another purpose: make deficits worse, make wages stagnate, make retirement harder…
It always, always, always comes down to a simple formula: more (and more) to the rich at the expense of everyone else.
People want jobs.
Cutting Social Security doesn’t create jobs.
Getting rid of unions doesn’t create jobs.
Gutting the things government does for We, the People won’t create jobs.
Cutting taxes certainly doesn’t create jobs.
Where are the corporate/conservative job-creation solutions? There aren’t any.
March 10 Summit on Jobs and America’s Future
On March 10, 2011, the Summit on Jobs and America’s Future will bring together leaders and activists who understand that America faces a jobs crisis – and who are committed to building a political movement for sustainable economic growth, dynamic job creation, and a revival of the American economy.
Free. $15 with lunch. Register here.
Sign up here for the CAF daily summary.