February 18, 2005

GOTTA KEEP THEM FORGOTTEN OR YOU LOSE CONTROL OF THEM:

FDR's 'Forgotten Man' at Risk (Jonathan Alter, February 18, 2005, LA Times)

President Bush's overhaul of Social Security isn't going well right now, but it's important to remember that he is playing a long game that is less attuned to daily or weekly news cycles than to what he hopes are the cycles of history. At issue is nothing less than the repeal of the whole idea behind the New Deal. [...]

Much of the New Deal was dedicated to increasing taxes, then using the money to prevent farm and home foreclosures and to help people back into the middle class with low-interest loans. Its centerpiece, Social Security, was about making sure the elderly felt in the autumn of their lives that they owned a bit of the American dream too. In a way, it was Roosevelt who invented the "ownership society." Tax revenues weren't "your money" but "our money" — an instrument for righting some moral wrongs, such as octogenarians having to dig ditches to eat.


Nicely put. The Democrats vision of an ownership society is one where the government owns everything and doles it out to you, irrespective of need. The George Bush's Ownership Society is one where you own your future and government only intercedes on behalf of the truly needy.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 18, 2005 7:52 AM
Comments

...Roosevelt who invented the "ownership society." Tax revenues weren't "your money" but "our money."...

Does anyone edit the LA Times? "Ownership" used along with "it's not your money but OUR money???"

Posted by: Bartman at February 18, 2005 10:06 AM

Tax revenues weren't "your money" but "our money"

I think that's a bit of a bait-and-switch, though I'd guess Alter does believe it himself. I know for sure my parents viewed their contributions to Social Security as very much their money. "I paid taxes for forty years, that's my money" is pretty much word-for-word from my dad.

Posted by: joe shropshire at February 18, 2005 12:45 PM

Why does the left always sound like it's channeling Benito?

Posted by: Luciferous at February 18, 2005 2:15 PM
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