Friday, February 18, 2005

From the best and the brightest to the worst and the stupidest.


So, on the one hand, we have
Bob Herbert's excellent piece detailing the administration's schizophrenic attitude towards Syria. And, since the universe prefers balance, we have a piece of dishonest swill from the Washington Post's Charles Krauthammer.

As Bob Somerby would say, given how easy it is to figure out the fundamentals of Social Security, try, just try, to believe that a regular WaPo columnist could write shit like this:

Let's start with basics. The Social Security system has no trust fund. No lockbox. When you pay your payroll tax every year, the money is not converted into gold bars and shipped to some desert island, ready for retrieval when you turn 65. The system is pay as you go. The money goes to support that year's Social Security recipients. What's left over is "lent" to the federal Treasury. And gets entirely spent. It vanishes. In return, a piece of paper gets deposited in a vault in West Virginia saying that the left hand of the government owes money to the right hand of the government.

These pieces of paper might be useful for rolling cigars. They will not fund your retirement. Your Leisure World greens fees will be coming from the payroll taxes of young people during the years you grow old.

Your so-called "liberal media" in action.

BONUS TRACK: If you want to ask Krauthammer how he reconciles his fantasy world with the reality described at the SS web site, drop him an e-mail at letters@charleskrauthammer.com. I'm sure he doesn't get enough fan mail.

DOUBLE BONUS SMACKDOWN
: Turns out Media Matters is all over this, too. Um ... do I really have to explain how this whole trust fund works again?

1 comment:

dAVE said...

Also, Al Franken had this quote from the US Constitition amendment 14:

Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.

So, it would be unconstitional for the government to renege on it's debt to Social Security. In fact, to even QUESTION it, is to not uphold the Constitution, which every representative, judge, and executive (including the President) is sworn to do.