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The Raw Deal: How the Bush Republicans Plan to Destroy Social Security and the Legacy of the New Deal Paperback – October 1, 2005

4.4 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Joe Conason has done it again." -- - The American Prospect

"Let this book be your x-ray machine to see through the President’s lies." -- - Josh Marshall, talkingpointsmemo.com

"No buzzword remains unchallenged…no insipid argument left intact." -- - Daily KOS

"With insight and clarity, Joe Conason shows . . . a lavishly funded and breathtakingly dishonest conservative PR campaign." -- - David Brock, Media Matters for America

About the Author

Joe Conason is national correspondent for The New York Observer, where he writes a weekly column distributed by Creators Syndicate. He is also a columnist for Salon.com, and the Director of the Nation Institute Investigative Fund. His books Big Lies: The Right-Wing Propaganda Machine and How It Distorts the Truth, and The Hunting of the President: The Ten-Year Campaign to Destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton, with Gene Lyons, were both national bestsellers; his latest book, It Can Happen Here: Authoritarian Peril in the Age of Bush, was released in February 2007. His writing and reporting have appeared in many publications, including Harpers, The Guardian, The Nation, and The New Republic. He also appears frequently on television and radio. He lives with his wife in New York City.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 141 pages
  • Publisher: Polipoint Press (October 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0976062127
  • ISBN-13: 978-0976062127
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.5 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,098,603 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Robert Moore HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 17, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Most reasonably aware individuals know that during his second term of office Bush has pushed social security "reform" harder than any other issue. Most will also be aware that the harder he has pushed, the less enthusiasm has been produced even within Republicans in Congress, some of whom have already declared Bush's push for privatization D.O.A., while the public at large has increasingly opposed all of Bush's efforts as they learn the details. Although Americans remain largely passive on most political issues, the great exception seems to be Social Security. An overwhelming number of Americans like Social Security and do not want to see any major alterations including no significant reduction in benefits. And given the devastation wrought in the Gulf Coast by Katrina, any significant shift to privatization by introduction of individual retirement accounts seems doomed, at least for now. Given all of this, is there still a need sounding the alarums about the Right Wing effort to destroy Social Security under the guise of "reform." The answer: yes.

Although the Right seems temporarily thwarted in their attempt to gut social security, this was not merely a short term goal, but a hope dear to political conservatives and ultra free marketers stemming back to the 1930s. Bush may have wrongly read the political winds in assuming that his political capital would allow him to begin the gutting of social security, but it isn't a dream that extreme fiscal conservatives will give up any time soon. As Conason points out in this book, Social Security was the crowning achievement of the New Deal, a program that guaranteed that tens of millions if not hundreds of millions of Americans would enjoy at least one source of persistent and reliable income during their retirement years.
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Format: Paperback
Joe Conason continues providing the American public with much needed information in an era when many other news sources have all-too-conveniently decided to become mouthpieces. This time, he illustrates that the Bush administration plan to privatize Social Security will hurt a majority of Americans and very badly.

Reading this book revisits the ongoing political battle of Social Security. Despite bipartisan support from the American people and a much smaller social welfare net than in many other Western democracies, opponents of Social Security insisted that this program would introduce fascism into American society.

Poverty rates have drastically fallen among older Americans since the 1930's as a direct consequence of Social Security.

However the right remains intent on privatization through "Individual Retirement Accounts". Make no mistake about it, the opponents of Social Security have not gone away, they are just trying to seduce the American voter through 'different' arguments to advance the same public policies. They are discovering that other people and organizations are already onto this plan.

The nation's largest interest group organization, the AARP, and its 35 million members oppose the Bush administration's plan. However, rather than listening to the American masses, the G.W. Bush administration instead found another way to continue trying to justify its actions.

That the president and his moneyed supporters are resorting to 'puppet organizations' which rely on slick images while commanding only a fraction (if that much) of grassroots support for this initiative really says just how unpopular the Bush proposal is.
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Format: Paperback
I worked as an expert on US Social Security policy for 7 years in Washington, DC: 4 years at the Social Security Administration (Office of Policy) and 3 years as assistant director of Social Security policy research for a non-partisan Washington, DC non-profit organization. (Type "Kelly Olsen and Social Security" into any search engine if you're unconvinced that I know what I'm talking about here.)

Two years after leaving public service in Washington, DC in 2003, I wrote an op-ed in the Asheville Citizen-Times (March 20, 2005, available online at [...]) in which I basically say in 900 words what Mr. Conason says in this book. The main difference between what I said in my op-ed and what's in this book is that Mr. Conason has the space to fill in the main details.

Mr. Conason is onto the Republican elite's game of deception to undermine Social Security altogether. Andrew Biggs, who now heads up the Social Security Office of Retirement Policy under George W. Bush, actually wrote in 1999 (when he was not yet a political appointee) that "private accounts would sever the ties of middle-class and wealthy Americans to government assistance programs and diminish political support for social welfare programs." Mr. Biggs argued that "market investment of payroll taxes sets the stage for ... a new political culture that rejects government intervention in favor of individual and market freedom. In that way, Social Security reform featuring Personal Retirement Accounts doesn't send just one liberal sacred cow to the slaughterhouse. It sends the whole herd." Clear enough? It is important to note that the Republican elite's Social Security goals are far to the right of the desires of most Americans who identify themselves as Republicans.
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