In today's New York Times, Paul Krugman continues exposing the rightwing plot to discredit the AARP because of that venerable organization's opposition to so-called Social Security reform Bush-style.
Maureen Dowd wrote about this "slime" job, as she called it, in yesterday's Times and I carried something about it, with a link, on this blog yesterday. This is one the progressives can't afford to drop.
As Krugman points out, today, the rightwing's attempts, so far, have been so clumsy that the usual progressive suspects have been astounded at how the conservatives have been fumbling this assault. But the game ain't over and Republicans and their allies have too good a record at converting failed economic policies into successes by coupling them with the culture wars.
And even the Washington Post, which is far more centrist than the Times, made mention today that some of the same consultants who were responsible for the anti-Kerry Swiftboat ads are now working with a consortium of conservative organizations to sell the Social Security privatization package.
The one thing you've got to give Republicans credit for is that they come up with great sounding names that confuse the issue. All of these organizations have names that claim to "Save Social Security," etc. And every one of them is a front organization for business groups, like the National Manufacturers Association and the Business Roundtable, that are far more interested in supporting the interests of greedy corporations than helping ordinary working people to actually have a decent retirement.
If companies really wanted to cut expenses, save money, and return a greater profit to their investors, they could give their CEOs and corporate heads less money and less perks. Instead, heads of corporations receive obscenely huge salary and benefits packages. And if they should fail to deliver profits and get ousted by their boards of directors, they leave their companies with "Golden Parachutes" that reward them far more generously for their failure than the average American worker gets when he or she leaves the same company after a lifetime of dedicated and successful service.
Business leaders do not have your best interests at heart. Not in this battle for Social Security and not in any battle. Their loyalty is to themselves and their cronies. To their class. The problem is they know they're in a class war. But so far it's been a guerrilla war because progressives are afraid to call it what it is. The battle to save Social Security is one of those seminal events that is finally exposing this class war for what it truly is. As is outsourcing and huge tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans, which has led to our country being bled dry of its resources.
Again, see yesterday's blog, with its link to Tom Friedman, who discusses some of the other ways that our economy is in trouble because of the huge deficits this Administration has accumulated in order to reward its buddies for their support.
Folks, there's a name for this. It's called "crony capitalism." And it hurts those of us who are not cronies, not part of their class. So, pass the ammunition, already.