21 January 2013

A Loyalty Oath for Social Security

At National Memo, Eric Laursen asks What Do Americans Really Think About Social Security?

According to Laursen, Americans have been overwhelming supportive of Social Security for just about forever. Survey after survey has reported a solid majority of Americans like the program and have since its inception. Regardless of what the policy-makers say, about it and its problems, they want it protected under any circumstance. That support, however, creates a bit of a puzzle. Why do we have so many in Washington and the power centers opposing it?

One reason may be that these lawmakers, policy wonks, lobbyists, and upper-tier journalists tend to see Social Security—like many other things—as a quantitative puzzle rather than a human problem.

Why do we elect lawmakers who don't see SS the same way we do? Is it because support for SS among the voters is so widespread and so strong we just assume the candidates hold the same opinion we do? If that's the case, we ought to become more active in ensuring the policy-makers understand the depth of support for SS. This seems like a political problem and one which may be easy to solve. No candidate ever should elected without making a pledge to protect SS.

Maybe we need a Grover Norquist-like loyalty oath to SS. Each candidate for public office should be offered a chance to sign the pledge. Anyone who doesn't should be opposed as a threat to economic security of the American People. The loyalty oath seems to work for right wing extremists--policy-makers are terrified of Grover Norquist. Maybe it's time to take a lesson and use their tactics against them.

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