The Los Angeles Times ran a great opinion piece by economist James K Galbraith yesterday, Deficits, Social Security and Medicare and National Security. Apparently the new thing for those who want to slash Social Security and Medicare is to claim that deficit spending = national security risk therefore we must slash safety nets in the midst of the toughest times people have faced in a long time. Galbraith does a great job of concisely explaining a) why deficit spending does not = weakness b) why cuts to these programs would be ill-advised in a number of ways and c) how this is a smoke and mirrors move around the real problem.
“…the only way to reduce public deficits eventually is to revive private credit, and the only way to do that is build a new financial system to replace the one that has failed. The “national security” case for cutting Social Security and Medicare is bogus. In economic terms, it’s just a smokescreen for those who would like to transfer the cost of all those bank failures onto the elderly and the sick.”
There’s no question in my mind that a debate about Social Security looms in our future. Mothers in particular need to educate themselves on how Social Security works – and doesn’t work – for them in order to raise their voices in the coming conversation. Hopefully the debate will open an opportunity to both protect a critical safety net for families AND to rid a system designed in the 1940’s of outdated assumptions about mothers, fathers, marriage and work that penalize mothers in particular.
So educate yourself now – read my series of articles on Social Security and mothers BEFORE the yelling starts.
Time to Demand Mother Friendly Social Security – Womens eNews
Social Security and Today’s Mother – Mothers & More Forum
Chapter 10 of my book – This is Not How I Thought It Would Be: Remodeling Motherhood to Get the Lives We Want Today