Paul Krugman, a professor of economics at Princeton, has this to say on Monday's NY Times op-ed page (discussing Bush's social security plan):
Let's consider the Bush tax cuts and the Bush benefit cuts [to Social Security] as a package. Who gains? Who loses?
Suppose you're a full-time Wal-Mart employee, earning $17,000 a year. You probably didn't get any tax cut. But Mr. Bush says, generously, that he won't cut your Social Security benefits.
Suppose you're earning $60,000 a year. On average, Mr. Bush cut taxes for workers like you by about $1,000 per year. But by 2045 the Bush Social Security plan would cut benefits for workers like you by about $6,500 per year. Not a very good deal.
Suppose, finally, that you're making $1 million a year. You received a tax cut worth about $50,000 per year. By 2045 the Bush plan would reduce benefits for people like you by about $9,400 per year. We have a winner!
I'm not being unfair. In fact, I've weighted the scales heavily in Mr. Bush's favor, because the tax cuts will cost much more than the benefit cuts would save. Repealing Mr. Bush's tax cuts would yield enough revenue to call off his proposed benefit cuts, and still leave $8 trillion in change.
The point is that the privatizers consider four years of policies that relentlessly favored the wealthy a fait accompli, not subject to reconsideration. Now that tax cuts have busted the budget, they want us to accept large cuts in Social Security benefits as inevitable. But they demand that we praise Mr. Bush's sense of social justice, because he proposes bigger benefit cuts for the middle class than for the poor.
Sorry, but no. Mr. Bush likes to play dress-up, but his Robin Hood costume just doesn't fit.
Don't be fooled America! The Bush administration's agenda (as orchestrated by anti-government ideologues) isn't to help sustain the poor nor our beloved system of Social Security. If they wanted to do that, all they would have to go is roll back their tax cuts to the non-economy stiflying levels of the Clinton administration (with $8 trillion in change). By suggesting that S.S. benefit cuts are inevitable, Bush takes an Orwellian (think Ministry of Truth from 1984) approach to curtailing all government benefit programs, telling the public that we have no other options and that if we fail to act we are hurting the poor.
Wake up America. George Bush isn't about defending marriage, the unborn or the poor.
Call me Wiston Smith, and point me towards the fight.