"If You're Not Hypocrites"
Alan Simpson's the lead pitchman for a billionaire- and corporate-funded initiative to slash Social Security that has subjected the public to years of nonstop haranguing and lecturing.
The lecturing's gotten crude, too, as when Simpson insisted that anyone who disagrees with him is shoveling "bullsh*t."
That's tough talk, but it's a funny thing: When the public makes tough decisions, as it did in a new National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI) survey, the tough-talking Mr. Simpson is nowhere to be found.
Much of this verbal abuse has been funded by right-wing billionaire Pete Peterson. Peterson tried to amplify the impression of an anti-deficit groundswell through a kind of three-card monte in which he funds many different shell organizations staffed by the same people and delivering the same message. They include the Concord Coalition, which may have been the first to trot out the phrase "we must make the hard choices on Social Security."
That statement's almost always conjoined with another Peterson-funded theme: that their harsh, right-wing benefit-cutting proposals are based on "arithmetic, not ideology." ...
A new survey from the National Academy of Social Insurance reinforces previous polling which showed Americans across the political spectrum oppose benefit cuts to Social Security and want wealthy Americans to pay more.
But the NASI study did something new: It presented respondents with a range of options and allowed them to select among them. The results were striking, and revealed a rock-solid consensus which spanned generations and political persuasions: Americans want wealthy people to pay their fair share, but they're willing to chip in more themselves - so much so, in fact, that Social Security benefits could be increased. ...
Younger Americans are willing to make the hard decisions, too. 87 percent of Gen X-ers and 85 percent of Gen Y-ers were also willing to pay more in taxes in order to protect the program. ...
Did you think Republicans never want to pay more taxes? Not true, at least when it comes to Social Security. Three out of four Republicans said they'd be willing to pay more to protect the program. So did 86 percent of independents - and 91 percent of Democrats.
What's more, 62 percent of Republicans thought we should consider increasing the program's benefits. So did 71 percent of independents and 84 percent of Democrats. ...
Guess who isn't willing to step up and pitch in? The millionaires, billionaires, and corporations behind the deficit hysteria. Their pampered pitchpeople are hiding, too.
After all, the NASI survey's been out for a week and we haven't heard a peep from any of them. Not one of them has congratulated the American people for making those "hard choices." Not one of them has signed on to promote the NASI survey's common-sense, fiscally responsible agenda for Social Security.
Not even straight-shootin' Alan Simpson. ...
And the public's still being lectured. One lecture came from Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein who, thanks to the Wall Street bailout, benefited rom the largest free lunch in history.
Pack it in, guys. In fact, you should be celebrating: The public's made those hard choices you've been talking about. If you're not hypocrites you'll fight for their Social Security agenda, not yours.
If you're not hypocrites.
Labels: Financing Social Security