The argument over Social Security privatization isn’t about rival views on how to secure the program’s future – even the administration admits that private accounts would do nothing to help the system’s finances. It’s a debate about what kind of society America should be.
And it’s a debate Republicans appear to be losing, because the public doesn’t share their view that it’s a good idea to expose middle-class families, whose lives have become steadily riskier over the past few decades, to even more risk. As soon as voters started to realize that private accounts would replace traditional Social Security benefits, not add to them, support for privatization collapsed.
But the Republicans’ loss may not be the Democrats’ gain, for two reasons. One is that some Democrats, in the name of centrism, echo Republican talking points. The other is that claims to be defending average families ring hollow when you defer to corporate interests on votes that matter.
Paul Krugman of the New York Times then goes on to lambast Senator Joseph Lieberman, who he calls The $600 Billion Man, for mindlessly repeating the Bush administration’s empty rhetoric, and for his own empty gesture of voting against the bankruptcy bill.
It isn’t always bad politics to say things that aren’t true and claim to support things you actually oppose: just look at who’s running the country. But Democrats who engage in these tactics right now create big problems for a party that has been given a special chance – maybe its last chance – to remind the country of what Democrats stand for, and why.
Read the whole thing.