Good morning Mr. Rocess,
First, let me thank you for the civil and respectful response. Although, the opening two lines are a bit condescending, I do appreciate the respect shown throughout. Thank you also for a little background about yourself. I know many people do not like to share personal stories, but I enjoy learning not just people’s thoughts, but their background as it shapes the ideas and point of view.
I believe you and I would have wonderful conversations, and I wish we could do so. However, at present our medium of communication is this BLOG so rather than write a novel in response to each of your items, I will merely hit a couple of high points that summarize my entire retort.
First, I am fans of anyone who knows their history and obviously you do. I am as well and use that knowledge quite often, in particular the context surrounding specific events. Your argument, if I read your correctly, is essentially, see how reasonable conservatives (a.k.a. the Republican Party) was during the age of Eisenhower. And yes, many of the policy planks of the party have shifted over time. But as with anything, context must be considered. We country had literally just emerged from FDRs borderline communist experiment, which by all measurable accounts was a failure from an economic perspective, but were popular among the people. Taking too far of a position from what had been the norm for 20 years would not be prudent. There is also a great deal of mathematical differences between the 1950s and now which I will touch upon later.
Along the same train of thought, how do you think Kennedy’s policies of cutting marginal rates and deploying a blockade around Cuba would play out in today’s Democratic party? I suspect none too well given the rhetoric of today’s Presidential nominees. The point being ALL parties shift. The Democratic party has shifted for over two hundred years (Jefferson to Jackson to Bryan to Wilson to FDR to Kennedy to Carter to Clinton to Obama) so trying to box in the Republican party on their shifting from the 1950s to today is intellectually dishonest.
But what intrigues the most about your article and then your response is that your article is about fear. Your response was about reaction. Fearful is one thing. Being reactive is another and not at all the same. Here is where I would like to come back to one of your bullet points. Social Security. The perspective of the Republican Party and quite frankly a great majority of individuals has changed on Social Security. Why? Primarily because the math has changed. Math can’t fib. It is merely is. The calculus of Social Security has greatly changed from the 1950s to now. You know it. I know it. We all know it. Now the question is what do we do about it. Rather than focusing on “saving social security” we should look at how to drive a solution to the underlying problem Social Security meant to solve. Ensuring a more secure retirement while not turning our government into primarily a retirement fund.
Between my own retirement savings (401K) and my payments to support existing retirees nearly 18% of my pay goes to fund retirement. That is significant and leaves me with a lower % of the money I earn than my parents, grandparents, possibly even yourself all with the knowledge that I have to wait longer to retire and will have less in retirement than the people who came before me, unless I personally save significantly more than the people before me. Why is that? Back then there were 10+ workers supporting a single retiree. Now that ratio approaches 2 to 1. That is unsustainable. We spend 15x the money on paying for our retirees than we do investing in our young people.
So, isn’t it possible, our current Social Security program is no longer the best “go forward” solution? Isn’t it worth discussing alternative scenarios? Of course it is!
Yes this is reactive. But it is reactive based on facts. Being reactive is not bad especially when based in fact. Unfortunately to the Leftist, tearing down the moral foundation of our country is considered sacrosanct and the thought of dismantling or even altering a huge government program is heresy, because the goal of the Leftist is to control every aspect of society through the power of the government rather than through the teaching of good and evil, moral and immoral and giving everyone the freedom to succeed as well as fail.
I look forward to chatting with you further!