A very interesting article by Tom Edsall in the Post today about the $200 million waiting to be spent by "a large network of influential conservative groups ... to help the White House win passage of legislation to partially privatize Social Security and limit class-action lawsuits."
As Edsall notes ...
The emergence of the center-right phalanx backing the Social Security proposal is a major victory for the Cato Institute, a prominent libertarian group. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Cato was almost alone in its willingness to challenge the legitimacy of the existing Social Security system, a politically sacrosanct retirement program.
Recognizing the wariness of other conservatives to tackle Social Security, Cato in 1983 published an article calling for privatization of the system.
The article argued that companies that stand to profit from privatization -- "the banks, insurance companies and other institutions that will gain" -- had to be brought into alliance. Second, the article called for initiation of "guerrilla warfare against both the current Social Security system and the coalition that supports it."
Just 22 years later, the business alliance is fully on board in the drive to create partially private Social Security accounts.
Also of interest to me is this <$Ad$> passage: "For corporations wary of publicity over their involvement in this and other controversial issues, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for Legal Reform, the Club for Growth and Progress for America pointedly offer donors the promise of anonymity."
In other words, a lot of the Club's funders appear to be pretty fainthearted themselves and far, far
from Loud and Proud.
Perhaps we should be calling it the Laundromat for Growth.
That brings us back to the news yesterday that Edward Jones (of which more dastardly financial shenanigans
are discussed here) abruptly pulled out
of Derrick Max's Alliance for Worker Retirement Security a couple days ago after a few picketers showed up at their offices.
Now it seems that pretty much all the organization's financial benefactors are fainthearted because when you go to the membership list on the site it brings up a freshly scrubbed page
with no names listed at all. Luckily, TPM Reader LY
managed to find this archived version of the membership list
from the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.