by Jerome Armstrong, Tue Dec 21, 2004 at 02:31:06 AM EST
"We have to gradually move from a system that is on a pay-as-you-go basis ... to a system that is on a fund-as-you-go basis," Parsons said. "This is exactly what's happened in the business world."Yes it's a money grab. Bush says crisis and CNN jumps.
And here it is again, in Dick Armey's Tis the Season for Social Security Reform, well-funded talking points in action:
"America is rapidly approaching a retirement security crisis... The solution is obvious... Social Security reform becomes more difficult the longer we wait... the Cato Institute found..."
The first thing then, is to get Congress to debate the crisis, because once that is accepted, the solution becomes Bush's. Ivolsky correctly interprets the frame:In the spirit of Lakoff, lets inspect the framing Bush uses when talking about his yet-to be-proposed Social Security privatization plan:
From his weekly radio address: "A crisis in Social Security can be averted, if we in government take our responsibilities seriously, and work together today. I came to Washington to solve problems, not to pass them on to future Presidents and future generations. I campaigned on a promise to reform and preserve Social Security, and I intend to keep that promise. "
Here, Bush elicits fear-- the same tool used to whip the population into a frenzy for the Iraqi war.
And he is painting himself as the savior, (in Lakoff's terms), a strong leader, the strict father who can lead the nation out of its "crisis," the omniscient father figure.
The fact that the crisis is fabricated is irrelevant; the language he uses urges change, it overtly identifies a crisis. And in a crisis, something must be done!
The framework: Bush is showing strength in a time of crisis!
Translation: How can you not support this brave and heroic president! He is willing to stand up to the problem.
As long as Democrats work in this framework they will loose the Social Security debate.
Progressives should frame social security in terms of responsibility to our elderly. Democrats are the party of responsibility. The Republicans/Reactionaries/Conservatives are the party of weakness: they are weakening the financial security of senior citizens.There is no crisis. Republicans were against Social Security in the first place. Now, only because of political capital, do they seek to dismantle the safety net of our society that they oppossed being formed in the 1930's by FDR.
This is the only battle I will judge the Democrats upon this coming term of Congress. Yes, there will be rightwing judges, yes there will be a continued occupation of Iraq, and yes there will not be accountability in the Bush administration. But this must be stopped. Democrats must draw a line in the sand over this, and not give a single inch.
Yes, there is a crisis, in Iraq; yes, there is a crisis, in the national debt; yes, there is a crisis with the unfunded mandates of Bush's, but Social Security is just fine without any help by the Republicans.