Thursday, May 05, 2005

Bush is never better than when explaining his position on an issue. His campaign on privatizing Social Security is nothing if not awesome. When backed into a corner about his insistence that private accounts would shore up Social Security, he slipped effortlessly into explaining that African Americans should rush to get what had now become "personal" rather than private accounts because black folks die so much sooner than white folks, and that all younger folks should want personal accounts because -- well, because it's a better deal.

Of course, Bush has no clue as to what Social Security really is. Some might recall during the 2000 campaign when Al Gore kept hammering about putting Social Security in a "lock box," Bush, bored with the subject, rolled his eyes and commented that the way Gore talked, "you'd think Social Security was some kind of government program...."

And, during a February campaign stop in Tampa, Fla., after Bush had run through his talking points, a bewildered woman asked Bush to explain again, in words that she could understand, how his plan would fix the Social Security problem. Bush replied haltingly:

"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 the --
like, 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."

Wow. I have to admit if that plan passes congressional inspection, Bush is good. Damn good.
Sheila/5 May 05


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