September 1, 2010

Game Changer: Democrats to Fear Monger on Social Security

Here's a note to Republicans - get out in front of this before it gets any traction. Momentum is on your side for the time being but this panic play by Democrats is going after the biggest potential demographic that could sway the tide. That is, everybody paying into or collecting Social Security.  Democrats are going to fear monger on social security as a desperate ploy to mitigate the tide in the upcoming midterm elections.

Here's the attack ad:

Notice what Todd Young said - it's a Ponzi scheme. He didn't call it welfare, he intimated that it was poorly set up. Guess what, it is a Ponzi scheme by proxy due to the demographics of an aging population. It needs some sort of fix. A fix doesn't mean that seniors are going to be cut adrift after paying into it their whole life. That's tantamount to theft and smacks of taxation rather than simple fairness. That's more along the lines of how Democrats would do something.

Chris Cillizza in the Washington Post points out the dangers of this type of attack ad to Republicans and also the Republican response:
The strategy behind the Democratic attacks is simple. Older voters are deeply suspicious of any changes to the retirement program -- it's not an accident that Social Security is referred to as the "third rail of American politics" -- and they also happen to be the most reliable voters in lower turnout midterm elections.
According to exit polling from the 2006 midterms, nearly three in ten (29 percent) of voters were 60 and older; Democrats won that age group 50 percent to 48 percent.
Republicans dismiss the Democratic strategy as an age-old attempt to change the subject. "This is a transparent attempt to distract from their budget busting, job-killing policies that have left voters asking the simple question that Democrats still can't answer: 'Where are the jobs,'" said National Republican Congressional Committee communications director Ken Spain.
Okay that response is tepid at best. Not to say it isn't accurate. What the response needs is a vigorous defense of the position that while change is needed, NOTHING will be done to disrupt the lives of seniors or the concept of social security in any way that causes catastrophic consequences.  It will be done in a way that slowly, and fairly transitions from the current system to a more sustainable future system that takes away the government's opportunity to meddle with social security funds to serve their own non-social-security purposes.

That's clear enough.  Say it.  No, scream it.  Repeatedly.  Frequently.  Take this tired and worn tactic away from the Democrats without subverting the country's future economic stability by saying we will do something, but in measured and planned steps.  Not like say, a 2000+ page health care bill rammed through without sufficient planning or even reading by those who will vote on it.

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