January 22, 2005

Invoking FDR on Soc. Sec.

The Bush Administration has directed the Social Security Administration to run a propaganda campaign whose goal is the diminution of the very service that agency provides.

The conservative group "Progress for America" is using the image of Franklin Delano Roosevelt in a TV ad which has the same purpose, despite a protest by FDR’s grandson.

These tactics go beyond selling an idea that won’t sell itself – they are designed to twist the knife. They are reminiscent of the criminal who at gunpoint forces his hostage to dig a grave before executing him and kicking his limp body in.

And these tactics serve Wall Street firms who hope to earn billions administering private accounts.

Am I just spouting angry rhetoric? Here’s some rhetoric from someone who would know, speaking at his first inauguration, having just been elected to do what Herbert Hoover had failed to do, with the Great Depression ravaging the country after my great-grandfather and millions of others had lost their retirement savings to the stock market crash:

The money changers have fled from their high seats in the temple of our civilization. We may now restore that temple to the ancient truths. The measure of the restoration lies in the extent to which we apply social values more noble than mere monetary profit.

Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort. The joy and moral stimulation of work no longer must be forgotten in the mad chase of evanescent profits. These dark days will be worth all they cost us if they teach us that our true destiny is not to be ministered unto but to minister to ourselves and to our fellow men.

Recognition of the falsity of material wealth as the standard of success goes hand in hand with the abandonment of the false belief that public office and high political position are to be valued only by the standards of pride of place and personal profit; and there must be an end to a conduct in banking and in business which too often has given to a sacred trust the likeness of callous and selfish wrongdoing. Small wonder that confidence languishes, for it thrives only on honesty, on honor, on the sacredness of obligations, on faithful protection, on unselfish performance; without them it cannot live.

Read the rest here. Too bad they didn’t play the audio in those TV commercials.

By Will Friedman in Quotes and Speeches | Permalink  | 


You wrote a lot of fancy words but I didn't see any argument against Soc. Sec. reform except for this:

"And these tactics serve Wall Street firms who hope to earn billions administering private accounts."

And that by itself is not a credible argument, unless yoru true cause is to prevent rich people from *gasp* earning more money.

Posted by: Keith | Jan 26, 2005 11:46:07 AM

This reminds me of the election when Bush senior ran against Clinton. Harry Truman was the hero whose name they invoked, and I remember being struck by the absurdity of George Bush Sr trying to convince the world that he was the new Harry Truman!

Posted by: SheaNC | Jan 26, 2005 12:49:23 PM

Keith, what you seem to fail to understand is that the problem lies not with the rich getting more money, but everyone else losing their Social Security while the rich get richer.

Try understanding the Social Security debate and reading this rather simply yet intelligently written blog entry before posting an inane comment.

Posted by: JDL | Jan 26, 2005 5:26:37 PM

Americans' Future In One Plan
I know that most of you are busy to read my book [...so I'll reprint it here]. As I explained previously that Taman Health Plan takes care of all the health care, Medicare, Medicaid and social security. It will threw away all bureaucracies out of window. [Ed note: keep comments short and to the point. If you need more than a page, you may need your own Blog. Remainder has been deleted.]

Posted by: maged taman | Feb 22, 2005 9:18:28 AM

Um, maged ol' buddy, how are you going to get people to read your book if you can't even conjugate a verb?

Posted by: The Green Knight | Feb 23, 2005 9:58:02 AM

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