Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Yahoo reports a media blitz is imminent. RUN FOR THE HILLS, SOCIAL SECURITY IS FAAAAAILING!

Most people understand that Social Security is in trouble of some sort. They've been telling us that for years.
We're hearing now that Bush is going to wage a media "blitz" campaign in the near future, telling the American people that the crisis facing Social Security is dire and is RIGHT NOW. Immediate reform is necessary. He will also be deliberately vague on what is needed for an effective rescue of Social Security.

However, a lot of people will be telling you that this is wrong-- Social Security can remain solvent for several more decades. (And that you know, maybe we should be dealing with other economic issues. *twitch*)

Example 1, Bush's news conference on December 20, 2004. (if you don't feel like reading it all, then skip to my summary)

[This is CNN's crappy coverage of the conference. Check out the HILARIOUS picture of Bush on the right. HAH. But don't read that story, read the excerpt below or my summarization after that.
( Excerpt from news conference. )

What basically happens here is that a reporter asks a good question, a question many of us have:
Reporter asks: Mr. President, what the hell are you proposing be done with Social Security?
President Bush responds: That's a nice question, John. But there are other issues we want to talk about as well, like tort reform and strengthening "No Child Left Behind." But yeah, Social Security... I don't duck it like some people have. We need to work together. But it will be difficult. But I will not negotiate with myself. I will stand by my principles. (And then this gem) "You were the one that asked me whether the payroll tax, if I'm not mistaken, will not go up. And I know there's the big definition about what that means. Well, again, I will repeat -- don't bother to ask me. Or, you can ask me. I can't tell you what to ask. That's not the holiday spirit."

And that is what President Bush has to say to our nation about what he wants to do with Social Security. I can only imagine the look on that reporter's face.

In this interview with Paul Krugman, columnist for The New York Times and professor of economics at Princeton University,

What Paul has to say is basically this:

Social Security is actually doing ok. We fixed it up pretty well in the 80s and it's due to keep on running on its own as it is. Among people who know what Social Security is and how it works, there is no consensus that there is a crisis. Kind of like, well, the threat of Iraq. Erm. Maybe Bush is trying to distract us from other, real crises.

"So, to just say, look, this is where -- this is a phony solution to a phony crisis, and hope that at least we can get some traction. But I have to say it's pretty frustrating. You cannot get the alternative view -- which happens to be the majority of view that people who have actually studied the subject -- just cant get it on the air."

So then Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now!, asks: What's up with this dollar being devalued shiznit? What's the real budget crisis, my homie?

Paul says: Well, it's like this. The US fed. govt. is borrowing $1 billion a day for operations (in Iraq) and the US as a whole is borrowing $1.5 billion for imports. This can only last for so long. We've gone from surpluses to deficits, and a quarter of that can be attributed to extra defense spending. The rest can be attributed to a plunge in revenues as a direct result of Bush's tax cuts.

Essentially, we're not bringing in enough tax revenue to pay for our current government operations.

Amy Goodman: Yo, so what's the invasion of Iraq done to the economy?

Paul: Well, the tax cuts are the biggest thing, actually. We lost about $270 billion there, and so far only $70 or 80 billion with the Iraqi War. The big tax cuts for people with very high incomes is, fiscally, the primary source.

I'm not alone here, with these people. I am not pulling this out of my ass.

Poll Suggests Skepticism On Bush Social Security Overhaul

John M. Berry at thinks that Bush will fix nothing

Guy from the Congressional Budget Office wigs out over military spending, points to Medicare and Medicaid as areas needing improvement

Daniel Gross of Slate says Bush is plundering Social Security to close the deficit.

Do a Google News search. People are shitting their pants over this.

I'll close with a noteworthy quote from the illustrious leader of our great nation:

"I'm also not very analytical. You know I don't spend a lot of time thinking about myself, about why I do things."-- George W. Bush, Aboard Air Force One, June 4, 2003


Blogger Josh said...

Social Security is such a joke. I hate paying it, because I know I'll never see my piece of the pie. It's not that I hate charity or helping old people, but...well, yeah, that's pretty much what it is.

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