Before Simpson-Bowles Spins The Vote We Must Raise Our Voice

Bill Scher

On Wednesday, the White House deficit commission is expected to take a final vote of the recommendations of its co-chairs Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles. Then the battle for public opinion really begins.

As the Wall Street Journal reported today, there is little expectation that the commission will meet the threshold of support –14 of 18 members — needed to prompt Congress to vote on the entire package before the end of the year.

But the reporters at the Journal suggest — presumably at the urging of insiders actively pushing the Simpson-Bowles plan — that a vote which comes up short could still spark political momentum: “If the panel wins close to a dozen votes for its proposal, some of the ideas could be incorporated into the White House’s 2011 budget proposal, or tax and spending plans from either Democrats or Republicans next year.”

If we want to make sure that one of the ideas that doesn’t get incorporated is cutting Social Security benefits, now is the time to speak up.

The Strengthen Social Security Campaign has designatied tomorrow, Tuesday Nov. 30th, as “National Call Congress Day: Hands Off Social Security!”

It’s clear that Simpson, Bowles and their allies will spin any vote as a sign of broader support for its entire package, regardless of what poll after poll after poll says.

And thanks to billionaire austerity activist Pete Peterson’s relentless backing, Social Security’s attackers will have plenty of media platforms to make their case and distort public opinion.

We can’t rely on poll numbers to win the battle for public opinion. We need to rally the public and put maximum pressure on Washington.

Tomorrow is our chance to show our numbers and our intensity. Go to www.strengthensocialsecurity.org/callcongress now and make your pledge to call your congressperson tomorrow.

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