Includes bibliographical references (p. -783) and index.
Social Security and the Reagan revolution (1981-83). A new deal ; "A despicable thing" ; The "third rail" of American politics ; "Waiting for the commission" ; The compromise of 1983 -- The movement against Social Security is born (1983-94). Making the case ; "Generational equity" ; The war against the geezers ; The anti-deficit obsession ; The struggle for austerity ; Bob Kerrey gets his pulpit ; Tax cuts and magic bullets -- Selling privatization (1994-96). "Just about unanimous" ; Privatization repackaged ; Wall Street enlists ; "What's in it for me?" ; Scary numbers ; The "intergenerational chain letter" ; Modest proposals ; Chile's pension revolution -- Mating dance (1996-99). The pension revolution comes home ; "Save social security first" ; The debate hits the road ; Democratic backlash ; "So surreal you wouldn't believe it" ; The unbridgeable gulf ; Washington politics and public opinion -- The Social Security election (1999-2000). The politics of prosperity ; Bush vs. Gore ; The road to Florida -- The ownership society (2001-05). The vanishing surplus ; A zero-to-one shot ; The Bush Commission punts ; Guns and butter ; Reaching for a mandate ; Karl Rove's dream ; Bush rolls the dice ; "We need public pressure" ; Propaganda and politicization ; A tipping point ; The Republican debacle -- Back to austerity (2006-11). "No one is talking anymore about a 'permanent Republican majority'" ; The rebirth of the pain caucus ; Obama vs. McCain ; Obama stumbles ; The deficit commission ; The return to austerity ; The retirement crisis.