Thursday, December 16, 2004

Quote of the Day

In President Bush's latest round of Social Security scaremongering and misinformation, he once again grossly exaggerated the "current crisis" in funding while offering a vague sketch of a privatization scheme that will cost trillions but fail to actually close the funding gap in any meaningful way. Bush also uttered an increasingly familiar bit of historical revisionism:

I will also assure members of Congress that this is an issue on which I campaigned, and I'm still standing. [emphasis added]
Uh, you didn't campaign on this issue, Mr. President, because you never put forward a plan. It wasn't discussed at the convention, and it wasn't a part of the stump on the campaign trail. Making veiled references to ownership societies and private accounts does not count as "campaigning" on an issue, and it certainly doesn't provide you with a mandate to radically alter the Social Security system as we know it. If you offered a detailed plan while campaigning, even slightly so as you have begun to do now, you might have raised the ire of the AARP, which seems likely considering their current hostile stance (hat tip to praktike). This would have provoked a national debate on this issue in an election year. But if you don't take those risks, and you don't encourage such a dialogue, you can't claim the reward of political capital, and you can't assume the support of the voters who were left in the dark.

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