Over at the Huffington Post, they’re huffing and puffing about a new film about the Koch Brothers made by Xanadu-filmmaker Robert Greenwald who faults those libertarian entrepreneurs to raise the Social Security retirement age. For the star witness in his “echo chamber” (his word* not mine), the director of the 1980 box office bomb turns to Bernie Sanders, the only self-professed socialist in the United States Senate.
To show just how the Koch Brothers want to “destroy Social Security,” Greenwald/Sanders provide quotes from positions papers published by (and clips of scholars who work for) think tanks which the Koch Brothers support. But, get this, not a single one of them says he wants to defund Social Security (or otherwise repeal the New Deal program). They just warn of its coming insolvency (seems to me that those who warn of a program’s insolvency want to save it, not destroy it) or advocating reducing the retirement age to reduce its costs (which would serve to make the program more solvent).
Scholars at conservative and libertarian think tanks aren’t the only ones who favor raising the retirement age. According to the left-wing web-site Talking Points Memo, the president’s own fiscal commission favors indexing “the retirement age to longevity — i.e., increase the retirement age to qualify for Social Security — to age 69 by 2075.”
In 2007, Joe Biden, the man Obama would tap the following year as his running mate “told the AP in ’07 he was open to discussions about raising the cap.” On more than one occasion, Howard Dean also said he was open to raising the retirement age for Social Security.
So, we’re supposed to believe because scholars at think tanks funded by the Koch Brothers favor an idea put forward by the president’s fiscal commission, once embraced by Howard Dean and considered by Joe Biden, the libertarian philanthropists want to “destroy” Social Security. Methinks some on the left are a little bit too eager to demonize “corporate interests” (as Sanders calls ’em) funding small-government causes.
Wonder if Mr. Greenwald has any plans to look into the corporate interests backing big-government causes.
It seems the Koch Brothers have become to folks like Greenwald what George W. Bush once was and Sarah Palin now is to a number of folks on the left, their demon du jour. In honor of those Koch haters, we inaugurate today a new category, KIDS (Koch Industries Derangement Syndrome).
*Screen shot @ 3:23 of video embedded in Huffington Post link above: