While Sen. Majority leader Mitch McConnell was boastfully crediting Republicans as the force behind today’s recovering economy, Ohio’s Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown was firing up opposition to a GOP plan to erode Social Security Disability Insurance. There could be no greater contrast in the behavior of a vengeful obstructionist who will be the Senate megaphone of his party’s reactionaries and Brown’s forceful stand to protect the Federal program from an assault by the newly-elected chest-pounders.
In a prepared statement this week, Brown sounded a clear alarm against the enemy at the gate. In this instance, he’s referring to a move in the House to change how disability insurance is funded. It’s called reallocation of a paycheck from Social Security to cover disability payments. Brown stresses that the Republicans’ proposed rule change would considerably hurt the recipients.
Brown accused House Republicans of “trying to change rules that have been in place for decades as a way to attack social insurance. Rather than solve the short-term problems facing the Social Security Disability program as we have in the past, Republicans want to set the stage to cut benefits for senior and disabled Americans.”.
He noted that the rule has been used by both parties 11 times since 1957 (Even under Reagan!) “But detractors working to privatize Social Security will do anything to manufacture crises under a routine administrative function.”
Privatize? The medieval wing of today’s parties has never been enthusiastic about the program. Anybody remember that Barry Goldwater never recovered as a candidate more than a half-century ago after he talked about “privatizing” Social Security in the Saturday Evening Post? What is it about this class of politician who never recalls history, just as they didn’t in Ohio with another issue, union restrictions, that lost by so many votes that they may still be counting the ballots.
Way to go, Sherrod Brown! But should you really be discouraging your Republican colleagues from allowing their miserable history to repeat itself?