I had originally planned to focus this post on campaign tactics of Barack Obama and his attempt to stand out from the pack by attacking Hillary on the subject of Social Security, which as the NY Times' Paul Krugman points out, is not as big a problem as Republicans would have you believe--in fact, they hate it because it's not a big problem. That said, I do think that Barack's stance of expanding the income cap is a good one.
But then George Will had to chime in and say something so completely through-the- looking-glass bizarre that I had to change my whole focus. Watch how Will just proves Krugman right:
Sixty-five days from now, the first of 78 million baby boomers begun (sic) to retire. Most Americans who collect Social Security begin to collect it at age 62, which is absurd. We have the public subsidizing increasingly long and comfortable retirement of people for a third to a half of their adult lifetime. Now. That's why one in four voters in 2004 was over 60 years old. The elderly have the biggest stake in the welfare state, which exists to transfer wealth to them. So this is, politically, a loser.
Um, WTF??? The rules of Social Security have changed...while it's true that you can begin collecting at the age of 62, you won't get as much as if you wait until 65. And so now George is complaining about subsidizing people for up to half of their lives???? How many 120 year olds do you know, George? Are you suggesting that we should be making those indolent 75 year olds pull themselves up by the bootstraps and get back to work? Those lazy seniors...
UPDATE: via John Amato: (In the above video clip) Paul Krugman believes that Obama's new approach to Social Security was a foolish endeavor. I thought the same thing. Social Security was the first real defeat I can remember that George Bush suffered with the help of the netroots after he won re-election and told America:
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During the first press conference after his re-election, Bush said, "I earned capital in the campaign, political capital, and now I intend to spend it. It is my style."
We've come to see what his style represents all too well... Duncan Black explains:
It's true that Obama didn't assert that there was some huge crisis. But the fact remains that he put the idea out there that Social Security had a "problem" which needs to be fixed and that any serious presidential candidate needs to address the issue in clear detail. So what's the big deal?
Beating back George Bush's plan to kill social security was probably the first major victory for the broadly defined netroots movement. I say that not really knowing if things would have been different if blogs and the like didn't exist, but it seemed like a victory...read on