Fuzzy, Fuzzier, Fuzziest: Junior's SS Math
So, Junior launched his new "initiative" to save Social Security this afternoon. From the AP:
"President Bush on Thursday flatly ruled out raising payroll taxes to ensure the solvency of Social Security as he began a push for historic changes in the retirement program... 'I will not prejudge any solution,' Bush said."
AP's been doing a pretty good job of late juxtaposing contradictory comments like this as they issue forth like explosive flatus from the mouth of Junior and his lackeys, but this contradiction like most will slide right under the radar of the mainstream media. Which is shameful, since this charade is particularly emblematic of the politically fantastic, utterly irrational, and mind-bogglingly ignorant economic policies of this administration.
"'Does this country have the will to address this problem? I think it must,' Bush said, sitting next to Treasury Secretary John Snow and the members of his panel."
If the country has the will, Bush is certainly not about to call upon that will. The only way to save Social Security, as any impartial and credentialed economist will tell you, is to raise additional revenue to make good on future payments. In other words, taxes.
Loathe to electrocute himself on the third rail lest he suffer the same tax-hiker legacy as dear old 41, Junior puts forth his alternative: private accounts. There's only one problem. If private accounts are offered as an alternative to paying into the public trust that in today's model is Social Security, the Bush plan would diminish revenue; perhaps slightly, perhaps significantly. But it will never and can never increase revenue. This plan is in intention and construction a replacement for Social Security.
Of course, this is a tactic designed to appeal to those who respond in a Pavlovian way to Rove's "Ownership Society" premise. Only for those who live hand to mouth, and even for those on fixed incomes or those in the middle class, this plan paves the way for a "You're On Your Ownership Society," and it ain't hard to connect the dots to a future where America's elderly die poor and penniless in vast numbers.