Friday, February 25, 2005

Do the Republicans even know what they are arguing for?

You have to wonder if Republicans even know the details of Bush's Social Security phase-out plan. I mean, they keep getting stuff wrong when debating it on television, like last night's Hardball. I don't know if anyone told Susan Molinari, but privatization is exactly about getting rid of a defined-benefit system.

MATTHEWS:  We have got a poll here I looked at, an NBC poll last week came out that nobody has paid much attention to.  It says that, by 2-1, the American people are more insistent on the guaranteed part of Social Security, the insurance part, we‘re going to get the money, than they are on this option of going to a personal account.  MOLINARI:  Well, sure.  I actually think the Reverend is right, that that is what people are concerned about right now.  I think that the Republicans have failed to answer that question as articulately as they can.  It‘s the plan that has taken place.  But I think that it is something they will overcome.  But it has definitely put members of Congress at a disadvantage as they go home and try and sell the personal savings account, while they are failing to give people the kind of comfort and confidence that they should have, because the Bush plan does guarantee that.  It doesn‘t change anything for people in terms of that guarantee from today.  If anything, it strengthens it for the younger people.  MATTHEWS:  Right.
Wrong, Chris. The only guaranteed part of this is that you will be forced to buy an annuity that may not even last your lifetime, assuming you made a profit in the market. And that doesn't even begin to cover the disabled and survivor benefits. That's when Sharpton made his entertaining comment that I alluded to last night:
MOLINARI:  But here‘s the deal, though.  Nobody forces you to go into a casino and nobody is going to force you to take up a personal savings account and change the way you currently participate with Social Security.  MATTHEWS:  But if the people who do take up the personal accounts suffer big losses, who is going to take those losses?  (CROSSTALK) MOLINARI:  Well, there are some changes that they make in the last few years, so that there is guaranteed income.  So, a lot of your personal choices is taken away towards the end, so that there is that guarantee.  But I think it is important to say to people who are watching, nobody will make you opt for this if you don‘t want to.  MATTHEWS:  OK. SHARPTON:  But you can be enticed, Susan, just like you‘re enticed into casinos.  And ministers like me try to warn you from being enticed.
Amen, Rev. Sharpton. Molinari also made some outright idiotic comments earlier in the broadcast. While talking about the Jeff Gannon/James Guckert flap, they said "MATTHEWS:  He keeps asking these ringer questions to set the tone.  The trouble is, a lot of these press conferences are on C-SPAN.  They‘re on television.  You create P.R. just by asking the dumb, the stupid questions.  MOLINARI:  But not that obvious.  I mean, let‘s face it.  This is a smart P.R. operation in the White House, is it not?  To have someone who is so implicitly not subtle is hysterical." Well, obviously they aren't that good at press manipulation, Susan. These are the same guys who couldn't do a Google search on the nominee to Sec. of Homeland Security, Bernie Kerik. These are the same guys that don't do news conferences and they only allow rigged "town hall meetings." They also hire Susan's firm, Ketchum, to pay people like Armstrong Williams to support their policies. Yes, not only is she a former Congressman, but she's also an executive at the firm who paid Williams in the payola scandal. Funny that Matthews didn't mention that. I think this goes to prove that Republicans don't know what they are arguing for, as long as they are getting paid, they'll say whatever you want them to.

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