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Willisms

« Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 402 -- Public Funding For Abortions. | WILLisms.com | Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 403 -- American Companies Can't Win The Auto Wars Without Big Structural Changes. »

Quotational Therapy: Part 122 -- Max Baucus.

All Options On The Table For Thee, But Not For Me-

More Social Security absurdity from Max Baucus, as reported by The New York Times (via Don Luskin):

Senator Max Baucus of Montana, the chairman of the Finance Committee, a critical venue for any Social Security plan, said he too believed the president must give up his private accounts before serious talks could occur. If so, he added, ā€œIā€™m more than open, if the president is truly willing to look at all options.ā€

Astounding. Take personal retirement accounts off the table, and Max Baucus might be open to reforming Social Security, but only if President Bush is willing to leave all options (read: tax hikes) on the table.

How does Max Baucus intend to reform Social Security without personal accounts?

A. Raising the cap on payroll taxes?
B. Raising the rate on payroll taxes?
C. Hiking taxes elsewhere while using gimmicky accounting to smooth everything over?
D. Cutting or slowing the growth of benefits?
E. Delaying (higher retirement age) or denying (means testing) benefits for some?
F. Pray for (or, better yet, proactively work toward) abnormally rapid economic growth, which would mitigate the crisis somewhat?
G. Pretending everything is fine; pretend to be working hard on finding a solution?

There are plenty of letters remaining in the alphabet, but not a whole lot of additional options, absent personal accounts. I can see most Democrats and some Republicans going for tax hikes. I can see for some Republicans but very few Democrats going for various sorts of benefit "cuts." Answer 'F' is laughable, considering all the socialist regulations and punitive taxes Democrats are pushing in Congress right now.

Which leaves us with "do nothing," which is really what Max Baucus should have told the NYT reporter.

maxbaucusdmt.gif

Only in Washington can you arbitrarily take THE optimal option off the table, and simultaneously demand that all options are on the table, and pretty much get away with it.

Previous Quotational Therapy Session:

Mark Sanford.

The right quote can be therapeutic, so tune in to WILLisms.com for quotational therapy on Monday and Friday.

Posted by Will Franklin · 22 January 2007 08:45 PM

Comments

We're so finished as a nation.

Posted by: Ken McCracken at January 22, 2007 09:52 PM

Posted by: Hoodlumman at January 22, 2007 11:50 PM

Good post.
We have all looked at the numbers and realize this ponzi scheme can not endure over time in its present state.

Has anyone factored into the equation all the illegal aliens in this country(and their future imported relatives) that will receive benefits if this horrible amnesty bill is passed?

And no doubt in my mind that the vast majority of these illegals will pull the "Big D" lever in elections shortly after they are empower to vote, if they are not voting already.

Posted by: Eneils Bailey at January 23, 2007 05:15 AM

I am all for D and E. And honestly, D and E need to happen anyway.

I want Social Security gone in general, but realize that SSD (the Disability portion) is probably a necessary evil. I think that unless you can prove that you are completely disabled and prevented from working, no one deserves a retirement paid for on the backs of other citizens.

As soon as we start telling people that, all the retirees that "paid into" social security their whole lives will clamor about how they paid in and should get something back and then you tell them that Social Security is not a "retirement account" but rather another government tax that they have been duped into paying. If it was a "retirement account" that you owned, you might be entitled to benefits. Plain and simple. It is one or the other. And we all know what it is... a tax with no promise of being given back. And that is the thing about taxes, it is as soon as we lose sight that taxes are the government taking our money which they may or may not ever return, we start being a little more cautious about authorizing Congress to increase the amount of money they take.

Social Security needs to go.

Posted by: Justin B at January 23, 2007 11:48 AM

Baucus tries to use the Montessori kindergarten trick by sharply limiting the options and then saying "Now, Dakota, you can do anything you want for work this morning." The difference is, in the Montessori example it is the hearer that is tricked and the speaker who knows the real story (wink, wink). In the Social Security example, my guess is that it's Baucus, the speaker who really thinks those are the only "real" options.

Posted by: Assistant Village Idiot at January 23, 2007 06:18 PM