The great Social Security debate of 2005 was a seminal moment for American progressives. Conventional fiscal wisdom in the Beltway was that the aging population is THE big problem -- when the truth is that grim long-run fiscal projections mainly reflect projected health care costs. And conventional political wisdom was that the Bush administration's fear-mongering on the issue would work.
But a determined defense by progressives in the media, on the blogs, and in Congress beat back one spurious argument after another, while the American people made it clear that they really want a program that guarantees a basic retirement income that doesn't depend on the Dow. And Social Security survived.