Another failed government program #notreally #happybirthdaysocialsecurity

Another failed government program

by digby

They said it would never work.  And they keep saying it. And yet it's been going strong for 80 years, making  it possible for the elderly and disabled to live in some degree of dignity in the richest country on earth.  It is literally the least we can do.

Happy birthday Social Security.  And pay no attention to all the naysayers out there today pretending to be wringing their hands over the imminent bankruptcy of the program.  They've been crying wolf on that from the beginning too:

Here's St Ronnie's famous "Time for Choosing" speech on the issue back in 1964:

A young man, 21 years of age, working at an average salary—his Social Security contribution would, in the open market, buy him an insurance policy that would guarantee 220 dollars a month at age 65. The government promises 127. He could live it up until he's 31 and then take out a policy that would pay more than Social Security. Now are we so lacking in business sense that we can't put this program on a sound basis, so that people who do require those payments will find they can get them when they're due—that the cupboard isn't bare?

Barry Goldwater thinks we can.

At the same time, can't we introduce voluntary features that would permit a citizen who can do better on his own to be excused upon presentation of evidence that he had made provision for the non-earning years? Should we not allow a widow with children to work, and not lose the benefits supposedly paid for by her deceased husband? Shouldn't you and I be allowed to declare who our beneficiaries will be under this program, which we cannot do? I think we're for telling our senior citizens that no one in this country should be denied medical care because of a lack of funds. But I think we're against forcing all citizens, regardless of need, into a compulsory government program, especially when we have such examples, as was announced last week, when France admitted that their Medicare program is now bankrupt. They've come to the end of the road.

Blah, blah, blah .... same old nonsense for decades. Social Security and Medicare are the programs that put the lie to their entire ideology --- they are universal government programs that work. Oops.

It always requires liberal vigilance and commitment to keep the right from destroying them. Because if they can, they will. So far so good.