Dark Bilious Vapors

But how could I deny that I possess these hands and this body, and withal escape being classed with persons in a state of insanity, whose brains are so disordered and clouded by dark bilious vapors....
--Rene Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy: Meditation I

Home » Archives » April 2005 » Cato Cackles...

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04/25/2005: Cato Cackles...

Note to Ed Crane (Cato Institute): There’s a reason your Memo to Karl Rove: “To win the Social Security debate, forget "solvency" and talk about liberty” simply won’t work: It’s not good economic sense in the midst of the burgeoning and growing Federal budget deficits and it’s no less a “government controlled” set of prescriptions and proscriptions than the existing Soc. Sec. System. Your “Faux Liberty” argument is the Smoke and Mirrors coming just a wee bit late on the “pull the wool over everyone’s eyes” (yet again) debate table.

The entire concept that "…. this should be an emotional issue about liberty and opportunity, not solvency dates" [emphasis mine] is EXACTLY where Team Bush has gotten it WRONG, WRONG and More WRONG lo’ these past four months. The “boy who cried wolf” on solvency issues, the deficit borrowing to fund this supposed “Ownership Accounts” and “Private Annuities” has been revealed for the shameful, sham, crock’o’shit it really is. And this one:

”…You want to get people excited about personal accounts? Tell them about the 1960 Supreme Court case Flemming v. Nestor, which explicitly says Americans have no ownership rights to the money they pay into Social Security. It is, the court ruled, a social program of Congress with absolutely no contractual obligations. What you get back at retirement is entirely up to the 535 members of Congress. Where's the dignity in that?…”

Earth to Mr. Crane, Earth to Mr. Crane…it’s no different under the Bush Lolla-Pul-Luser proposed scenario. Further, that:
”…the pride one has in having provided for one's own retirement, as opposed to being a supplicant of the state; the security of knowing the government can't take the money away (which it do whenever it raises the payroll tax or pushes back the retirement age); and most of all, the knowledge that your loved ones may benefit from your labor. Inheritability is a hugely underexploited benefit of personal accounts. When you die, the money simply disappears. What's up with that? Which opponents of personal accounts want to debate that issue? If you want to energize the grass roots, challenge opponents of personal accounts on inheritability. Why should the money go to the government and not your loved ones?”

Again, no different under the Bush Proposed Plan!!

All this nonsense is yet more “Smoke and Mirrors” about the touted proposed workings for these “Investment instruments” for this Privatization Accounts.

Why, Oh, Why do you think, Mr. Crane, that’s there’s been this refusal by the Administration to talk turkey on these numbers? An ever shifting, evasive ploy to “explain the urgency” before explaining any “solutions” which has FAILED to capture this “Imagination” of more than 70% of the American Public??

The absurdity of “by invitation only” scripted “taking this show on the road” boondoggle events planned as “talking to real Americans” about these issues? Events that lots of Real Americans are prevented from attending…yet paid for by those self-same taxpayers.

Oh, and here’s the real “Bush Legacy” for you: A failed Second Term President out of Touch with the Concerns and Needs of the Vast Majority of Average Americans watching his approval rating slip-sliding away as he bends over backwards to continue to catered to a small (very small) Base of supporters.

So, regroup, reform, spout off some more -- But until you come up with some fast and hard numbers that make this Proposed Privatization workable -- it's just more Smoke Blowing in the Wind rhetoric, Mr. Crane.

Karen on 04.25.05 @ 05:11 AM CST

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