Jewish World Review Oct. 11, 2002 / 5 Mar-Cheshvan, 5763
http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | The Democratic National Committee has plummeted from objectionable to despicable. On its flagship web site, Democrats.org, the committee is running an ad portraying President Bush murdering a wheelchair-bound elderly woman by pushing her off a cliff.
Despite public outcry over the ad, the DNC has refused to pull it. The ad is a "humorous take on a serious issue," laughs DNC spokesman Bill Buck. How killing old people is funny, I am not sure, but apparently the DNC enjoys watching the elderly plunge to the ground and explode.
The ad itself is a pack of lies. It quotes a statistic from the far-left American Prospect stating that if President Bush had his way, Social Security benefits would be cut by 40 percent. The stat is culled from a piece by Robert McIntyre, the leader of the class-envy obsessed Citizens for Tax Justice, which promotes higher taxes on corporations and upper-income people. McIntyre writes: "suppose instead that starting on Jan. 1, 2000, we'd taken the entire Trust Fund, along with all subsequent surpluses, out of those stodgy 6.6 percent annual interest government bonds and dumped every penny into a plain vanilla Standard & Poor's 500 index fund. ... Social Security would have lost a staggering $533 billion, leaving the Trust Fund 41 percent lower than it actually is."
Hindsight is 20/20, so it is quite easy for McIntyre to say that we'd be in dire straits if we had completely privatized Social Security. But when the stock market rises, will he ask why we didn't privatize?
Besides, no one is talking about privatizing all of Social Security. This is like saying that if a stockbroker spent all of his money on high-tech stocks, he'd have lost all his money. Well, duh. But no stockbroker worth his salt spends his entire life savings on high-risk stocks -- he diversifies. McIntyre's stat is propaganda, and the Democrats knowingly misuse it as fact.
A more accurate ad would see Democrats tying the hands and feet of young people, emptying their pockets and tossing them into the ocean to drown. Social Security is failing, and if no new measures are taken, the children of baby boomers will be the ones to pay the price.
Social Security was originally conceived as a social safety net for widows and orphans. Then, it ballooned out of control when Democrats decided that it was more important to gain votes than to encourage self-reliance, and Republicans, predictably afraid of being seen as cold-hearted, followed suit.
As in most cases of major government intervention, we now have a major problem. Social Security money is not holed up in a bank somewhere, waiting for the retirees who paid in to withdraw their funds. The money is accumulated by the government and then spent on current retirees, as well as other "important" government functions like trips for congressmen. If the current crop of retirees is smaller than the number of working people paying into the system, everything works fine.
But the baby boomers throw the system out of whack. When they retire, there won't be enough working people to pay into the system, so one of two events will occur: either benefits will be cut, in which case the baby boomers are gypped out of their cash, or taxes on my age group will be raised in an attempt to create revenue for Social Security. Both of these options are politically unattractive.
As usual, Republicans look for a different solution, while Democrats find it more beneficial to attack Republicans. In 10 years, the Democrats will "reluctantly" spring new taxes onto Generation "Y" to pay for the Democrats' intransigence. That is what the new DNC ad means. The Democratic "idiocracy" rips privatization because any new solution is risky, and it is far safer to demonize a prospective solution than try it -- even if it will work.
This explains Democratic opposition to privatization, but it doesn't explain the viciousness of the ad. There is another factor at work here -- the Dems are desperate. For months, they have been trying to deflect public attention from foreign policy to what they perceive as their strength, the economy, and they've failed to do it.
The Democratic vitriol has forced Republicans to abandon privatization as a possible solution for fear of political backlash. So the situation percolates, getting worse day by day. Unless voters make the Democrats pay for their nastiness and selfishness at the polls, Generation Y will be paying through the nose.
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