The PR blitz of the Bush White House on the taxpayers� dime
to �save� Social Security from running out of funds �is on life support,�
according to a recent article in the Washington Post. Who put the president�s
plan there? Many people from all backgrounds and walks of life with no name
Alone they lack political power. Yet together they are
powerful. Here is a story to tell and re-tell about the year�s political
victory of the many over the few of the upper class in the world�s lone
Mass media are not reporting this David and Goliath story as
such. There are exceptions to such journalism, of course. But they are as rare
as snow in the summer in the U.S.
In sum, Main Street has successfully resisted Bush�s attack
on the heart of the U.S. welfare state for the population. This victory, due to
the largely hidden involvement of countless folks, is temporary. It cannot be
any other way, I am afraid.
Why? Powerful capitalists have been trying to gut Social
Security since its birth 70 years ago. Any government protection for ordinary
people means that much less of the social surplus that the toil of the vast
majority creates for a parasitic upper class.
These idlers, meanwhile, regularly demand and get government
protection from the market. Examples include corporations that obtain copyright
protection and patent monopolies, while the well-heeled gain income tax cuts.
At the same time, 47 million Americans receive Social
Security that provides them some economic security. For that reason, national
politicians will be back in September with plans to destroy the popular program
that according to the official mythology will go broke unless such fixes are
made. Accordingly, Social Security activism must continue nationwide.
And I know it will as sure as the dusk follows the dawn.
Grassroots groups such as the Gray Panthers (GP) will lead the way tomorrow as
they have done this year. The GP follow in the honored footsteps of progressive
activist groups such as the Washington Pension Union that forced the Washington
state government to increase welfare benefits to retirees during the Cold War.
Currently, the so-called war on terror is a foreign
equivalent of sorts that �competes� with tax dollars for domestic programs.
While Social Security benefits paid to the disabled, retirees and survivors are
funded by payroll taxes paid by employees and employers, the program is a
beachhead of sorts for the powerful few to attack the majority�s living
standards. People across the U.S. �get� that, despite the political
misinformation, and have responded by organizing and mobilizing to resist Bush�s
Social Security plan.
I call that a popular victory.
Sandronsky is a member of Sacramento Area Peace Action and a co-editor with
Because People Matter, Sacramento�s progressive paper. He can be
reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.