The Spectacle Blog

McCain pees on the third rail?

By on 7.10.08 | 10:37AM

... is how Matthew Yglesias calls McCain's decision to discuss Social Security. Never mind the fact that the Bush administration's lackluster attempt at reforming the system was the first time anyone sought to really fix the problem of social security running out of money. He then admits that the quote he's referring to *was* taken out of context, but how can he help not knowing what McCain's stance is when he's using diversions like his war record?


Well, Matthew, it's not exactly news that Republicans are concerned about Social Security. And it's not exactly "generations looking after eachother." It's more pandering to unions and the AARP than anything else.


What *I* don't get is why the Washington Post's Jonathan Weisman and Michael D. Shear are so earnest when they write that McCain has "sparked controversy":


If that payment system is a disgrace, it has been one since Social Security was created during the Great Depression. For as long as the popular program has existed, today's workers have paid the benefits of today's retirees. Future problems are projected as Baby Boomers retire and the ratio of workers to retirees begins to shrink to levels that may not be able to support the benefits now promised. But the system has not changed since Franklin Delano Roosevelt created it.


The "popular program"? Would that mean that income taxes are a "popular program," since, heck, we don't get to opt out of that, either? The whole problem is that the system has not changed since FDR created it! McCain was clear in saying that there's something wrong with the fact that young workers are likely not going to benefit from the system, given the way things are headed.


In fact, those who are "burbling" about McCain's "gaffe" are noting that things have always been this way. What about that change mantra?

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