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(DV) Sandronsky: Victory Over Bush's Social Security Plan







Victory Over Bush’s Social Security Plan
by Seth Sandronsky
July 27, 2005

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The PR blitz of the Bush White House on the taxpayers’ dime to “save” Social Security from running out of funds “is on life support,” according to a recent article in The Washington Post. Who put the president’s plan there? Many people from all backgrounds and walks of life with no name recognition.

Alone they lack political power. Yet together they are powerful. Here is a story to tell and re-tell about the year’s political victory of the many over the few of the upper class in the world’s lone superpower.

Mass media are not reporting this David and Goliath story as such. There are exceptions to such journalism, of course. But they are as rare as snow in the summer in the U.S.

In sum, Main St. has successfully resisted Bush’s attack on the heart of the U.S. welfare state for the population. This victory due to the largely hidden involvement of countless folks is temporary. It cannot be any other way, I am afraid.

Why? Powerful capitalists have been trying to gut Social Security since its birth 70 years ago. Any government protection for ordinary people means that much less of the social surplus that the toil of the vast majority creates for a parasitic upper class.

These idlers, meanwhile, regularly demand and get government protection from the market. Examples include corporations that obtain copyright protection and patent monopolies, while the well-heeled gain income-tax cuts.

At the same time, 47 million Americans receive Social Security that provides them some economic security. For that reason, national politicians will be back in September with plans to destroy the popular program that according to the official mythology will go broke unless such fixes are made. Accordingly, Social Security activism must continue nationwide.

And I know it will as sure as the dusk follows the dawn. Grassroots groups such as the Gray Panthers will lead the way tomorrow as they have done this year. The GP follow in the honored footsteps of progressive activist groups such as the Washington Pension Union that forced the Washington state government to increase welfare benefits to retirees during the Cold War.

Currently, the so-called war on terror is a foreign equivalent of sorts that “competes” with tax dollars for domestic programs. While Social Security benefits paid to the disabled, retirees and survivors are funded by payroll taxes paid by employees and employers, the program is a beachhead of sorts for the powerful few to attack the majority’s living standards. People across the U.S. “get” that, despite the political misinformation, and have responded by organizing and mobilizing to resist Bush’s Social Security plan.

I call that a popular victory.

Seth Sandronsky is a member of Peace Action and co-editor with Because People Matter, Sacramento’s progressive paper. He can be reached at:

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