Why Social Security Isn’t Going Broke and How Expanding It Will Help Us All
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A call to arms to defend Social Security from sneak attack.

Co-authors Altman (The Battle for Social Security: From FDR's Vision to Bush's Gamble, 2005, etc.) and Kingson (Social Work/Syracuse Univ.; Lessons from Joan: Living and Loving with Cancer, a Husband's Story, 2006, etc.), who both served as staff advisers to the 1982 National Commission on Social Security and were founding board members of the National Academy on Social Insurance, expose the method of guerrilla warfare still employed by conservatives to undermine the social-welfare system. “This is not a time to accept further cuts to our Social Security as 'reasonable compromise,' as little 'tweaks,' that will do no lasting harm,” they write. On the contrary, they believe what is required is an expansion of the social-welfare system to achieve “greater economic security for all of America's working families.” A first step is to counter “the deeply imbedded in the minds of the general public”—e.g., the false claim that Social Security is economically unsustainable and imposes an unacceptable burden on the younger generation. In his cogent foreword, David Cay Johnston (Undivided: The Perils of Our Growing Inequality, 2014, etc.) describes this misinformation and reminds readers that the preamble to the Constitution includes a statement of the need to “promote the general Welfare.” Altman and Kingson provide a historical overview of social legislation since the passage of the original Social Security Act in 1935, give a detailed explanation about why the Social Security trust fund is solvent and will remain so, and explain why conservatives have been unable to derail the system due to broad-based popular support. Even Ronald Reagan, the champion of reducing the role of government, recognized that Social Security (dubbed by House Speaker Tip O'Neill as “the third rail of politics”) was unopposable.

A hard-hitting kickoff to the 2016 election campaign.

Pub Date: Jan. 21st, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-62097-037-9
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: New Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 2014


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