“… Everyone in Washington knows we need to fix Social Security. But the Bush approach, while it could win support in the short term in a Republican-dominated Congress, is a long-term disaster. The worst scenario here is one that no one in the administration would ever admit to, but if you listen in on the loony right fringes (who are closer than ever now to the levers of power) you’ll hear it: The idea is that if we undermine Social Security enough today, when the fiscal train-wreck hits tomorrow the government won’t have any choice but to scrap the retirement system entirely — fulfilling, finally, the dreams of its original die-hard Republican opponents, who saw FDR’s pledge to America’s working families as an evil efflorescence of socialism.
“The Bush economists are ready to begin the dismantling. Wall Street is teeming with brokers slavering to get the commissions on this vast new influx of accounts. And, just when we can no longer count on Social Security to cushion our retirements, the borrowing the Bush plan demands will spark inflation or undermine the dollar or both, devaluing whatever savings we may have been counting on to augment those Social Security checks.
“Maybe seniors — and the rest of us — should be scared.”