To give you some relief from the political ins and outs of the Social Security battle, Crabby Old Lady will keep this installment short.
The presidential bully pulpit is a powerful political tool and President Bush is using it to its fullest to try to win over the population to his side of the Social Security privatization debate. Neverthessless, various polls in the past week are showing less and less support for the administration's plan.
Not one of the 45 Senate Democrats has announced support of the proposal, and several of the 55 Republican senators either oppose it or are skeptical. So it may be that the P.T. Barnum rule is in play: "You can fool some of the people all the time and you can fool all of the people some of the time. But you can't fool all of the people all the time."
But the Republicans have rammed through questionable policies before and this is not the time to sit back on Social Security. Yet to Crabby’s utter astonishment and disgust, the Democrats in Congress have not put forth a Social Security proposal of their own.
It is not enough to oppose and defeat the president’s scheme; another plan is needed. Social Security will come up short by 2042, but if tweaks to the system are made now, it will be less fiscally painful for everyone and there will be plenty of time to accumulate the needed funds.
WHERE IS THE DEMOCRATIC PLAN? Crabby wants to know.
While the Democrats are dithering, the White House spin machine goes 'round faster every day. The Republican Party is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars and corporate America has put up millions of more dollars to shill for privatization.
But these people, even with all that money, wouldn't try to fool us, would they? The president and his aides wouldn’t mislead us, would they? None of these powerful people - political and corporate - would knowingly do anything that would harm their nation’s citizens, would they?
Crabby Old Lady lied when she said she would keep this post short. With the help of many online resources, but most particularly Craig Aaron at In These Times magazine, who credits Dissent magazine, Crabby has put together a Bush Administration Timeline. You tell Crabby if, based on the past four-year record, the nation’s and the citizens’ best interests are being served and if anyone should take the administration's word on privatization of Social Security.
...to be continued...