Wednesday, February 16, 2005


The Upcoming Bush Depression--Enjoy!

SCENE: President Bush "explains" the virtues of his Social Security plan, Tampa, Florida, Feb. 4, 2005. (Passages in bold are real quotes.)

WOMAN IN AUDIENCE: I don't really understand. How is it the new [Social
Security] plan is going to fix that problem?

[Interposed] Here's my brief explanation of what's actually going on:

Ultraconservative President Dick Cheney, who really sets policy and controls everything, believes in the extreme right-wing theory that government "entitlements" (Social Security, Medicare, and welfare) are philosophically disreputable and must be terminated. There are two ways he and his cabal plan to go about this. One is the "inside" way, meaning through legitimate channels: getting changes in the law that disable the programs. The other is the "outside" way, which refers to the forcing of structural changes on the capabilities of the government. According to this theory, if the Treasury is bankrupted, it will force the government to curtail entitlements--which, aside from the servicing of the national debt, are the largest domestic expenses.

The theory is egregiously wrong, and if left unchecked will lead to economic depression. But that's what the current administration is actively engaged in. They're trying to bankrupt the Treasury by spending lavishly on anything that benefits their clients, corporate America and the defense industry. (If you haven't noticed, the Bush administration spends big on anything that comes from a contractor, but skimps as much as possible on anything that goes to individual Americans--even soldiers.)

The cynically misnamed Social Security "reform" is just the "inside" half of the strategy, that's all.

Okay, now here's President Bush's explanation:

GEORGE W. BUSH: Because the...all which is on the table begins to address the big cost drivers. For example, how benefits are calculated, for example, is on the table. Whether or not benefits rise based upon wage increases or price increases. There's a series of parts of the formula that are being considered. And when you couple that, those different cost drivers, affecting those...changing those with personal accounts, the idea is to get what has been promised more likely to be...or closer delivered to what has been promised. Does that make any sense to you? It's kind of muddled. Look, there's a series of things that cause, for example, benefits are calculated based upon the increase of wages, as opposed to the increase of prices. Some have suggested that we calculate...the benefits will rise based upon inflation, as opposed to wage increases. There is a reform that would help solve the red if that were put into effect. In other words, how fast benefits grow, how fast the promised benefits grow, if those...if that growth is affected, it will help on the red.

All clear now? I thought so.

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