Assault on Social Security

January 2005


The Bush Administration has begun its assault on Social Security -- The War on Terror, The War with Iraq, and now, The War on Old People... I'll give them this: they're predictable.

Our good friends on Pennsylvania Avenue are at it again. They've started yet another war. This time they're out to get the elderly poor. You can really feel the hand of Carl Rove in this. There hasn't been such a master propagandist, who always did everything the same, since dear old Goebels.

It starts with a gentle haunting refrain, something like "Social Security's Bankrupt" or "Weapons of Mass Destruction." That gets repeated a few hundred thousand times by every conceivable government spokesman -- hell, if you call the Social Security information line and they put you on hold, you get fed a whole shpiel about how much hot water good old Social Security is in. Then a whole boatload of experts from conservative "think tanks" like the Heritage Foundation get into the act. Their job is to provide six different opinions on how badly off Social Security is.

Did you notice how, all of a sudden, there is no question but that Social Security is in a deep hole - everybody's now debating how deep the hole is, not whether the hole exists. Look back at the great Iraq Weapons of Mass Destruction "debate." It's going to be just the same.

Our Federal government spent almost $200 million dollars selling us the war with Iraq. I wonder how much of our tax money they're going to spend to convince us that we really want them to pick our pocket. There ought to be a law against this kind of thing -- hey, wait, there is such a law. Except when the people who are supposed to enforce the law have zero respect for the law or the people, well, then the law's just a convenient tool.

My only hope in all this is that Carl Rove and his good buddy GWB will step in it big time on this one. There wasn't really anybody who had a whole lot to gain from our not going to war with Iraq -- so there wasn't much of a lobbying force in Washington behind the idea of peace. There were just a few poor peace activists and one of two real conservatives (Did I hear you right, boy? It's gonna cost how much?) who tried to keep us from allowing the richest cabinet in the nation's history to make the jump from multi-millionaires to billionaires. But with Social Security, there are some really big players who won't want their 70-year-old gravy train upset.

I wish I could look at Washington and see crooks and good guys, but I can't. All I see is the old crooks and the new crooks. However, the old crooks treated poor folk, children, veterans and the elderly better, for all they stole. Sometimes they even stole from rich people - it isn't right, unless you're Robin Hood, but it beats stealing from poor people. The new crowd has no conscience and no national pride.

My other wish is that these guys are going to get their just deserts for all their lies and cheating -- for all the multitudes of misery that their selfishness has made, or made worse. If you're a religious person you can take some solace in their damnation. I wish they were as religious as they pretend to be, so they could at least be a little afraid of harming so many of God's children while on earth.

But they've got their eye firmly fixed on that material prize -- ready to grasp the brass ring and ride with it. Doesn't matter how many people live in squalor, how many die needlessly from preventable diseases, live in ignorance because they've done such a good job taking the funding out of education and giving it to their cronies ... the list is endless, like Scrooge's chains, and it just keeps getting longer.

And remember to invest all your private retirement stock in Enron -- you'll never live to know the difference, what with the CO2 emissions and all the deregulated global pollution and habitat destruction.

I think I know exactly how the dinosaurs died, and it had nothing to do with a comet.