Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney believes corporations are people.
Michele Bachmann has pledged to support a Constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage and wants to “wean everybody off” Social Security and Medicare.
In his three-day-old campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, Texas Governor Rick Perry has come out slugging. He told a crowd that (Bush appointee) Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's policies are “treasonous.” He denounced President Barack Obama as “the greatest threat to our country.”
He also said Medicare and Social Security are unconstitutional.
Oh, and another Texan, Representative Michael Burgess, with the backing of many tea partiers, wants to impeach Obama to stop the president from “pushing his agenda” as if that isn't the president's job.
Welcome to the Republican freak show. Are these people the best America can find as leaders?
Many decades ago when the United States was in as much serious economic trouble as we are now, leaders aspired not to destroy but to build. Because Social Security is under strong attack from all these , I've been doing some more reading on its history.
The Social Security website has a good historical section and I enjoyed some of the old posters explaining the program when it was new. Here is one from 1936 urging people to sign up for Social Security at post offices.
This one, from 1939, followed up on amendments adding benefits for widows and children.
This 1940 poster reminded Americans that Aid to Dependent Children was part of the original Social Security Act until it was repealed under President Clilnton in 1996 as part of “welfare reform.”
Skipping ahead to 1968, this poster reminded people that they were eligible for Medicare at age 65. In the early years, Medicare was administered by the Social Security Administration.
I love these old posters for their vintage design and because are a terrific reminder that at a time when America was on its knees, it created a program that helped make a great nation. On his blog yesterday, Jared Bernstein wrote this about Social Security related to the current campaign:
”A sure applause line among politicians is “America is the greatest country in the world.” That’s as it should be — patriotism runs strong.
“But what do we really mean by this — what makes us a great country?
“It is no exaggeration to say it’s ideas like Soc Sec — ideas that tie us together —ideas that by their nature, provide security and respect to those who raised us, who spent their lives helping to build our future.”
All the candidates for the Republican nomination are extremists who want to blow up Social Security aided, perhaps, by a president who is too willing to compromise with them. Again, is this the best we can do?
(You can see more historic material about Social Security at the agency's website.)
There is no story at The Elder Storytelling Place today. More soon.