Friday, March 11
We must destroy this village to give the appearance of saving it while not actually saving it, and in fact destroying it.
A bunch of friends of mine went down to Fun-gomery yesterday to protest Bush's appearance to campaign for his Social Security privatization plan. Here are the three things I know about this plan:
1. It's going to cost around $2 trillion (and that's just until 2010) to make the transition from the current system to one that includes private accounts.
2. Bush's own people concede that private accounts won't do anything to solve the program's allegedly impending fiscal crisis.
3. In 1978, Bush said Social Security would be bankrupt by . . . 1988.
So we've got a program so mind-blowingly expensive that my grandkids are going to end up paying for it, that won't even solve the problem its creators claimed to intend to solve, which nobody can prove is going to be an actual crisis anyway. Why should I support this again?
I know that, as one of those 20somethings Bush has been trying like hell to bring on board with this fakakta scheme, I'm supposed to be thrilled poopless that I'm finally going to be allowed to divert some of my payroll tax into a private account. Well, guess what: I don't wanna. And if I did wanna, I'd just put more money into the mutual funds I've already got, instead of shoveling it into some government-controlled account that's barely going to give me anything more than what plain ol' Social Security already does.
The really dumb thing is that, while the Republicans claim to have no specific plan about how they're going to do all this privatizin', they have no problem whatsoever assailing the Democrats for not coming up with a plan of their own. To me this is like if I go to the doctor complaining of a minor headache, and he says, "Looks like our only option is to amputate your leg." And when I ask just what the hell amputating my leg has to do with a headache, he gets all huffy and replies, "Oh, are you a doctor? I suppose you have a better idea?"
It's all academic, at any rate, because it doesn't matter what the Democrats do -- they could come up with a plan that ensures Social Security's solvency until the Second Coming, increases benefits 50 percent for every recipient, requires not a penny in additional tax increases and buys a pony for every American child under the age of 16 and the Republicans would still stomp it into the ground simply because they can't afford to let the Dems steal a victory away from Bush on any issue whatsoever. So, in the end, all they can afford to do at this point is campaign against the Bush plan/non-plan. Under some circumstances, I'd feel really frustrated about that, but when the plan/non-plan is this cockamamie and ill-conceived, I can learn to live with it.