Nancy Altman, Social Security Works, joins Thom Hartmann. Beyond the economy, this presidential election will also be a debate over the social safety net – in particular Medicare and Social Security. That became obvious when Mitt Romney picked Paul Ryan as his Vice Presidential nominee — the guy who wrote the Republican budget that ends Medicare as we know it. Ryan has repeatedly defended his plans for voucher-izing Medicare on the campaign trail — assuring Republicans that this is a debate they want to have — and a debate they will ultimately win. But Ryan has been a little less vocal about his plans to privatize Social Security – which was a major initiative by George W. Bush — even though he ultimately failed. Back in 2010 — Paul Ryan wrote the Republicans’ “Roadmap for America’s Future” calling for Social Security to be handed off to Wall Street in the form of private retirement accounts. While President Obama has been more than willing to hammer Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan over Medicare — he’s been quieter about Social Security. And that may be because he has his own skeletons in the closet when it comes to Social Security. After all — the President has thrown support behind the Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction plan which calls for cuts to Social Security. So can progressives who are trying to defend Social Security at all costs trust the President to not take a knife to it?