The Nation - Selected Editorial

Max Sawicky sawicky at
Tue Jul 21 11:26:07 PDT 1998

> On Social Security: Cockburn predicted (shortly before or after the 96
> election) that Clinton's next great achievement after destroying public
> aid (and probably in the middle run shortening millions of lives) would
> be to destroy Social Security. So far the prediction looks good.
> Not too many weeks ago the WSJ in an editorial predicted that by opening
> the issue of Social Security Clinton had unleashed a project he could
> not control. Their explicit assumption was that Clinton did *not* want
> to destroy Social Security, but that his actions would achieve that
> goal. This minuet between the WSJ and the Clinton Administration, like
> the Dukakis campaign of 88, could provide a field day for conspiracy
> theorists. Clinton does the dirty work; the WSJ provides the cover by
> accusing him of being a liberal.

This is certainly a threat. Welfare reform would never have passed without Clinton's acquiesence. One big difference is that AFDC was as unpopular as any government program, and Social Security is the most popular. Politicians were afraid to be on the wrong side of the AFDC shoot-down. Social security could turn out to be a very different ball game.


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