Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Bush the Coward

by Kyle Michaelis
A reporter for the Omaha World-Herald and other regional papers sat down with President Bush in the oval office for a half-hour interview on Social Security. I'm thinking the questions weren't too hard-hitting since the only numbers reported in the article are the Republican noise machines'.

The one really interesting thing in the article is getting Bush on record on the fact that he hasn't provided his own plan for social security "reform." He's going on a campaign across the country to hype a problem for which he refuses to offer his own solution. What kind of leadership is that?
Many Democrats, Ben Nelson included, have implored Bush to outline a Social Security restructuring plan and send it to Capitol Hill, saying they want to see details to determine how it would protect the 70-year-old program.

Bush brushed that idea aside.

"The bill I send up will be - phhtt!" the president said, making a sound like air escaping from a balloon. "The first bill to go down."

Instead, Bush said, he wants Congress to develop a consensus around specifics that can pass the House and Senate. Although Republicans control both bodies, Democrats in the Senate hold enough votes to block action through use of the filibuster.

Bush and the Republicans have majorities in both Houses of Congress, yet they refuse to do the heavy lifting. How cowardly that they lack the courage of their convictions and won't lay their purely ideological motivations on the table for every American to see. The Republicans dearly want the political cover of a bi-partisan effort, so the destruction of Social Security doesn't blow up in their faces. We can't let them have it.

Private accounts do nothing to make Social Security more solvent. Their being drawn from payroll taxes is antithetical to the very notion of Social Security. In fact, private accounts are the single greatest threat to Social Security out there, far more so than the so-called crisis some 40-50 years down the road.

Fulfilling its chosen role as puppet to the administration, the OWH article ended with:
The virtue of private accounts, Bush said, is that they would enable today's younger workers to earn higher returns. He noted that $35,000 set aside today could develop into a $250,000 retirement nest egg.

Not mentioned was the possibility of that $35,000 going bust - the magic empty nest egg. Do we really want every one approaching retirement to jump out a window come the next stock market crash? Then again, maybe that's Bush's real solution to the Baby Boomer problem.

Hey, in this debate, there's no reason they should have a monopoly on fear-mongering....


Post a Comment

<< Home