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The Battle for Social Security: From FDR's Vision To Bush's Gamble

The Battle for Social Security: From FDR's Vision To Bush's Gamble

Nancy J. Altman

ISBN: 978-0-471-77172-2

Nov 2005

362 pages

In Stock



This book illuminates the politics and policy of the current struggle over Social Security in light of the program's compelling history and ingenious structure. After a brief introduction describing the dramatic response of the Social Security Administration to the 9/11 terrorist attack, the book recounts Social Securityâ??s lively history. Although President Bush has tried to convince Americans that Social Security is designed for the last century and unworkable for an aging population, readers will see that the President's assault is just another battle in a longstanding ideological war. Prescott Bush, the current Presidentâ??s grandfather, remarked of FDR, ""The only man I truly hated lies buried in Hyde Park."" The book traces the continuous thread leading from Prescott Bush and his contemporaries to George W. Bush and others who want to undo Social Security. The book concludes with policy recommendations which eliminate Social Security's deficit in a manner consistent with the program's philosophy and structure.
Chapter 1: From the Poorhouse to Free Parking.

Chapter 2: Social Security’s Grandfather.

Chapter 3: Essential Insurance, Poor Welfare.

Chapter 4: Bold Woman, Cautious Men.

Chapter 5: A Teeny-Weeny Bit of Socialism.

Chapter 6: Dirty Tricks.

Chapter 7: Ready, Set, Start Again.

Chapter 8: Dr. Win-the-War Replaces Old Dr. New Deal.

Chapter 9: Third Time’s the Charm.

Chapter 10: All American Program (Minus a Tiny Splinter Group).

Chapter 11: Visible Gains, Subterranean Tremors.

Chapter 12: The Sky is Falling and Social Security Is Bust.

Chapter 13: Aging Gracefully.

Chapter 14: A Leninist Strategy.

Chapter 15: The Drumbeat Finds a Drummer.

Chapter 16: The Ideal, Pain-Free (For Almost Everyone) Way to Strengthen Social Security.

Chapter 17: From FDR's Vision to Busg's Gamble.



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""[A] fine history … the best single explanation for Bush's [defeat] …Altman tells the story wonderfully…moves briskly…interesting story line.""
—Robert G. Kaiser (The Washington Post, December 28, 2005)

“…a well-written political history, appealing to lay readers and policy analysts alike.” (Private Enterprise Research Center, March 2007)