The Quiet Social Security Revolution: How Democrats Learned to Stop Loving Benefit Cuts
That was Reagan’s famous “Time for Choosing” speech in 1964. That “young man” to whom he referred is now 72 years old — and judging by the polls, he’s probably thankful for the guaranteed income that Social Security provides. More than that, he’s undoubtedly relieved that his 21-year-old self wasn’t in charge of his retirement planning. That young fellow surely had other priorities — like putting food on the table and getting an education (not to mention more frivolous pursuits). Making the individual responsible for such choices was how it was done before Social Security, and it didn’t work out too well for a vast number of people. Neither was there any safety net for that 21 year old if he happened to become disabled. Those were the good old days for which conservatives have always waxed nostalgic — the days when sick people sold pencils on street corners and the elderly lived in grinding poverty and died before their time.