by Max Brantley
The New York Times rounds up a few of the whoppers told by Republican presidential candidates last night as they tore down the Democratic administration.
I guess Gov. Perry's insistence on attacking Social Security could prove the pivotal point of the campaign.
It's only appropriate to note that Perry's take on Social Security is precisely that being offered by Tea Party Republicans like U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin. They promise no changes for current codgers, but urge younger people to plan for a future in which the program, if it exists at all, is nothing like its current form as a safety net for the poor.
This subtle declaration of age warfare is one of the most cynical of current Republican tactics and not supported by the financial math, as the Times article notes. A U.S. without Social Security in which older people live off the fruits of their 401K investments will be a grim place. A good example appeared in the paper the other day — a steadily employed city worker (steady employment, imagine that!) with 10 years of solid savings in her 401K said she now has a princely $20,000 set aside. With the wrong investment strategy in the last decade, she wouldn't have that much.