One Thing To Say About the Collapse of Wall Street

Privatization of Social Security.

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CBN.comALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — There’s another showing Tuesday of the good-cop, bad-cop routine featuring President Bush and Sen. John McCain, Bush’s one-time presidential rival who has become a big booster of the president’s Social Security plan.

The Arizona Republican accompanied Bush on Monday to the senator’s home state and Colorado to try to help sell the public and Congress on the president’s proposal for a major Social Security overhaul.

Bush again focused on calming seniors’ fears that his plan would mean their checks would stop coming or be cut and tried to convince them that adding private accounts to Social Security would be in the best interest of their children and grandchildren. Bush said he was open to any idea Democrats, or others, want to bring forward to solve Social Security’s fiscal ills, and he pledged no political retribution.

“I’m willing to listen to any solution,” Bush said in Denver. “I’m confident that eventually the will will be there to get something done.”

McCain, after jokes that had the audience howling and some unvarnished adoration of “the leadership of this man,” had a little different message.

[full story]

Here is McCain saying he won’t privatize social security and then talks about specific ways in which he will.

Read on to see how this week’s news could have been.

What we’ve seen here this last week has been a debacle of epic proportions.  No one is arguing that.

What we are lucky we are not seeing is the complete unraveling of the safety net built by our grandfathers and grandmothers that assures no one who works in this country will be out on the street, begging for food or drugs.

There are going to be people who have had their life savings wiped out in the last couple weeks.  Some will only have it cut in half.

This is part of the problem when you have a retirement bubble (the Baby Boomers) that all retire at the same time.  They are all in a race to putt their money out of the market and spend it.  The problem with this is that when a bunch start to do it all within the same time frame, the usual response to a declining market (“wait it out”) is not a possibility.

So this is what we are seeing now, compounded by a real-estate boom gone bust (fueled by risk-taking younger workers who can take the hit and start over), a hugely expensive idiotic war, a falling dollar and an  atrocious global reputation.

This is the type of combination that wipes a life’s work off the map.

AND IS EXACTLY THE REASON WE CREATED SOCIAL SECURITY IN THE FIRST PLACE.

The only way *that* investment safety net fails is if the whole government collapses.  Not just one market that government is supposed to be regulating.

McCain has wisely, backed away from Bush’s plans (I still feel weird citing the Christian Broadcasting Network as a source), but that seems to be a move of convenience, not one of conviction.

His conviction is that Social Security needs to go.   Palin, BTW, barely knows what an “entitlement program” is.   I wonder if the “efficiencies” she hopes to find are those in the “market”.  I am absolutely sure that’s what her handlers are telling her about how the world works.

[Palin painfully trying to name three economic things she’d do different that Bush…after avoiding the big money ones.  This was at the VERY END of the interview, which is probably why it didn’t get much attention]

GIBSON: So you’d take military off the table, the veterans’ benefits. That’s 20 percent of the budget. & Do you talk about entitlement reform? Is there money you can save in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid?

PALIN: I am sure that there are efficiencies that are going to be found in all of these agencies. I’m confident in that.

GIBSON: The agencies are not involved in entitlements. Basically, discretionary spending is 18 percent of the budget.

PALIN: We have certainly seen excess in agencies, though, and in — when bureaucrats, when bureaucracy just gets kind of comfortable, going with the status-quo and not being challenged to find efficiencies and spend other people’s money wisely … then that’s where we get into the situation that we are into today, and that is a tremendous growth of government, a huge debt, trillions of dollars of debt that we’re passing on to my kids and your kids and your grandkids … It’s unacceptable.

I heard Palin had another rambling foreign policy experience reponse.  I’m afraid to watch it, but I think I just might have to.

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