Thursday, February 24, 2005

Feelings! Nothing More Than Feelings!

As TNR's Noam Scheiber points out, Republicans are being told to trust El Presidente on Social Security because of his "practical experience," which tells him privatization "is good politics and policy." Aw shucks, I feel so much better about the whole thing now that you've explained that the Prez's confidence is rooted in his feelings. Never mind what those silly diversions like economic studies, statistics, American history, and common sense might teach us. Bor-ring!

Scheiber goes on to cogently explain why he thinks privatization may backfire on the Repubs. One can live in hope!
An affluent voter knows he's going to retire in relative comfort whether or not Social Security is privatized; for a voter who sees Social Security as his main source of retirement income, the prospect of exchanging private accounts for benefit cuts is pretty alarming. Recall here the political price congressional Republicans paid when they merely flirted with "slowing the growth" of Medicare in the mid-'90s. Put it all together, and it seems possible, even likely, that the practical effect of Social Security privatization would be to reverse the now-familiar trend of working-class voters ranking social issues above economics--a trend essential for maintaining a Republican majority in Congress.
Makes sense to me.

And just for the record, we all understand that many of the Republicans in favor of privatizing Social Security aren't at it with the intention of helping old folks in retirement, right? They want to privatize it because they want to privatize everything they can. Some of them would privatize government all together if they could.

Come to think of it . . . maybe they already have.

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