Our ancestors created Social Security. Ron Johnson’s idea would destroy it, and Medicare along with it.


What a tragic irony that a U.S. senator from Wisconsin, Ron Johnson, now seeks to wreck Social Security and Medicare. Wisconsin played a key role in giving birth to both programs and ensuring their success.

We know. Our grandparents created Social Security.

When President Franklin Roosevelt worked with his New Deal team to design Social Security, our forebears — Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins, Secretary of Agriculture Henry Wallace and Emergency Relief Administrator Harry Hopkins — looked especially to Wisconsin for help. Their top aides included University of Wisconsin professor Edwin Witte and UW graduate Arthur Altmeyer.  

When a second generation of New Dealers in Congress created Medicare in 1964, Wisconsin also played a decisive role. Milwaukee-born Wilbur Cohen, another UW graduate, was among Medicare’s lead architects.

Yet now U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson holds a dagger to the throat of both Social Security and Medicare.

His plan will blow up the legal — and the moral — foundation on which both programs rest. Johnson wants to decimate one of Wisconsin’s greatest contributions to America’s progress.

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