A week and a half ago, President Bush called attention to African-Americans’ lower life expectancy – as a case for dismantling social security as we know it:

African American males die sooner than other males do, which means the system is inherently unfair to a certain group of people. And that needs to be fixed.

Yesterday on Meet the Press, Congressman Bill Thomas made clear cutting benefits for demographics which live longer – rather than improving conditions for those who don’t – is a new GOP talking point:

We also need to examine, frankly, Tim, the question of race in terms of how many years of retirement do you get based upon your race? And you ought not to just leave gender off the table because that would be a factor…If we discuss it and the will is not to do it, fine. At least we discussed it. To simply raise the age and find out that you’ve got gender, race and occupational problems later, I would not be doing the kind of service that I think I have to do.

I’d suspect that this message won’t test as well amongst Americans that weren’t hand-picked for “Conversations” by the White House.


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