Friday, April 08, 2005
...leading the blind.
Please take a nice look at this graphic. What does it tell you?
It's an html link that will send you to a website called, thoughtfully enough, "Thereisnocrisis.com". It's a nice picture of a gentle member of the Greatest Generation and one of her great Grandchildren. Below that is a flash banner which you can see says, over n' over n' pop over (like the Pop Tart) "THERE IS NO CRISIS"! That banner is followed by more flash animation that says "Protecting the Integrity of Social Security". The old lady in the picture is there to reassure the old folks that the liberals are there for them, while the baby in the picture is there to reassure the younger set that, no, the liberals haven't forgotten about them either.
This ad has been on most of the liberal blogs that I have been coasting in an out of for about the past month, and it has told me a lot about the Democratic Party's state of play right about now.
Social Security is a monster of an unfunded liability. Since Lyndon B. Johnson needed to come up with a neat-o way to finance the Vietnam War in the 1960's, the Federal Government has been removing federal dollars from the Social Security trust fund and replacing them with IOU'S. Natch, these IOU's have to be cashed in sometime, lest the system go belly-up.
Now you can monetize the debt, but with this nation's liability debtload that extends back to the Revolutionary War, we'd end up like Weimar-something that would please the Michael Moore crowd no end. Bush's reform plan depends on private accounts for a small percentage of future Social Security funding. The pitfall for GW is that it may, repeat may, require borrowing to finance. If this is true, that may kill the plan as the public is running up against debt fatigue. The Republicans appear to be willing to look up other trees to try to cobble together a compromise plan.
Then, there are the Democrats. What is most revolting is the kind of brain-dead politics that is emblematic in that banner above: the willingness to do nothing. They are a reactionary political force. They are initiating nothing, and are reacting to everything. The above banner, with some tweaking, could be about the judicial filibuster (see John Hinderaker and the boys over at Powerline for an insight into their latest intellectual scam, a shameless ripoff of a fine old Jimmy Stewart film.).
The Democrats are fearful of doing anything that might upset that applecart of the interest groups that hold the coalition together. Right now, hatred of Bush is all that is keeping them together. The problem for the Donks (they don't see this yet) is that when ChimpyHitler leaves the scene, the centrifugal forces at play in that party will start moving the various interest groups apart like paint off a moving flywheel. Consider the Donk party as hundreds of little groups in search of their cut of the swag. There's no larger God and Man debate as you had in the Republican Party during the years in the wilderness. There's no Reagan, no Buckley, no Thatcher, no Whittaker Chambers. No Ayn Rand, even.
There's no there, there. There's just policy. A thousand different meals on wheels programs with no overarching vision of WHY. So there's no consideration to actually look at how Social Security can be fixed for the nation so that it's in good shape for the state of demographic play in 2060. All that matters to the Donks is the now. How do they beat ChimpyHitler, not how they protect Social Security so that my daughter actually has something other than an 18% tax rate with which to look forward?
And this is what they've come up with.....