Morning Report 1/19/05Going for Brokers


Social Security: another senseless invasion

How stupid are we? We’re about to find out. The Bush regime’s drumbeat for war on Social Security sounds suspiciously like its saber-rattling on Iraq. In both cases, plunder is the goal.

It’s been almost two years since Colin Powell went to the U.N. to show slides of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. They were drawings that looked as if they were taken directly from the Jonny Quest “Terror Island” episode, but they worked (see above).

Since then, we’ve done a fine job of rescuing defense contractors, including Halliburton, the Dick Cheney company we hired to help us bulldoze Iraq into rubble and then hired again to help move the rubble around and rebuild stuff.

Now we’re in danger of spending our golden years in dentured servitude to Wall Street brokers—shock and awe in every precious fiber of our being! And we all know how important fiber is.

This won’t turn out like the unjustified and disastrous invasion of Iraq—for one thing, most of the deaths caused by this war would be lingering ones spent in poverty and infirmity instead of a bullet to the head delivered by a dead-checking Marine.

But the Washington Post reports this morning that even Republicans on the Hill are hearing rumbles of opposition. Troglodytic congressman Bill Thomas, powerful chairman of House Ways and Means, crawled out from beneath his rock to predict that the Bush regime’s plan is in grave danger.

Meanwhile, arm yourselves with information from sources like the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), which is trying in a very polite way to show people that Social Security funds are in no danger of disappearing.

There is no “crisis,” in other words. The only danger is from the administration itself, which would make Wall Streeters even richer off our backs if the plan for “private” retirement accounts is pushed through.

Wake up, Gramps! As Bob Greenstein of the CBPP points out, the predicted Social Security shortfall for the next several decades could be made up almost entirely if we simply did not make permanent the Bush regime’s tax cuts for the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans.

Last September, University of Chicago economics prof Austan Goolsbee figured that the Bush regime’s plans would generate fees for financial companies and mutual fund companies totaling about $940 billion, “the largest windfall gain in American financial history.” But what does he know? The U. of Chicago doesn’t even give out football scholarships. What kind of college is that?

Don’t count out the regime. As Jim VandeHei of the Post pointed out on January 1:

President Bush’s allies are raising millions of dollars for an election-style campaign to promote private Social Security accounts, as Democrats and Republicans prepare for what they predict will be the most expensive and extensive public policy debate since the 1993 fight over the Clinton administration’s failed health care plan.