The Spectacle Blog

Obama and the Politics of Fear

By on 5.19.08 | 10:42AM

Barack Obama has made it a point of his candidacy to argue that Republicans have exploited the 9/11 tragedy for political gain, and he has promised, if elected president, to move us beyond the "politics of fear." He has chastized Republicans, including President Bush and John McCain in recent days, for distorting his views. But apparently, his opposition to the "politics of fear" only applies when Republicans are talking about threats to our national security. When the topic is Social Security, Obama evidently has no problem spreading fear, and lying about his opponents poisition to scare up votes among a demographic group that has given him problems in the primaries.

The AP reports, that while campaigning in Oregon:

Democrat Barack Obama told seniors Sunday that Republican John McCain would threaten the Social Security that they and millions like them depend on because he supports privatizing the program....

Obama said McCain would push to raise the retirement age for collecting Social Security benefits or trim annual cost-of-living increases. Obama has rejected both ideas as solutions to the funding crisis projected for Social Security in favor of making higher-income workers pay more into the system.

"We have to protect Social Security for future generations without pushing the burden onto seniors who have earned the right to retire in dignity," he said.

Anybody who is intellectually honest knows that none of the proposals on the table to allow workers to voluntarily invest a small percentage of payroll taxes in stock/bond funds would affect todays seniors, and the Bush proposal that McCain supported explicitly took anybody over the age of 55 off of the table. For Obama go to senior citizens center and spook them into thinking that McCain is a threat to their retirement security, is a patently dishonest, dare I say, "smear." Obama claims to represent a "new kind of politics" but scaring senior citizens into thinking that the big bad Republicans are going to take away their retirement money is the oldest dirty trick in the Democratic playbook.

It's worth noting, in closing, that among other approaches Obama would consider on Social Secuirty would be raising the current payroll tax cap beyond $97,000 -- this despite his pledge to not raise taxes for Americans making less than $200,000.

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