Sunday, November 25, 2007

Why Be Scared of (Bringing Up) Social Security

Most of us in the progressive blogopshere have long been calling Democratic elected officials spineless cowards for failing to take progressive actions on things like abortion, gay rights, civil liberties and energy.

Why, then are we scared of taking progressive actions on social security?

Eliminating the cap makes basic progressive sense; there's little dispute on this issue (or there should be).

The main worry stated is that bringing up Social Security plays into the Republican's hands.

Those worried have forgotten what happened in 2005. The public didn't outright reject changes, and the public still thinks overwhelmingly that Social Security needs some changes (a poll from October this year by CBS [see Polling Report] revealed that 30% think it's in a crisis, 36% think it's in serious trouble, and 26% think it's in some trouble, with only 5% thinking it's in no trouble at all). That's a powerful mandate against doing nothing.

Instead, the public emphatically rejected the Republican proposal of privatization and started the sequence that sent their party from their strongest position in decades to their current weak, pathetic state.

And polls show that raising or eliminating the cap is the solution the public prefers.

Finally, we need a revenue increase.

So what is there to be afraid of?

Details on polls thanks to one of the best sites for polls, Polling Report:

Polling OrganizationDatePrivatization (Support/Oppose)Increase Cap (Support/OpposeRaise Tax Rate (Support/OpposeRaise Retirement Age (Support/Oppose)Slow Down Benefit Increase (Support/Oppose)
CBS/NY Times6/10/05-6/15/0545/5063/3041/5430/6759/35

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