Monday, January 17, 2005

Bush going down in history for famous fabricated crises

Well there is a Washington Post article about how Bush manipulated the public (well at least 50% of us) into believing there were crises, here mainly Iraq and Social Security. Now I agree, and think they might have actually gone soft on him about Iraq but I don’t agree with SS.

As a tax payer paying for a benefit I will probably never recive I tend to hate SS and I *do* think it needs to be overhauled, if Bush does it then he has my support (not very often you will here that, I assure you) however two things:

#1 I hope people see the total irony of his sounding off about the perils of SS and our inevitable financial destruction because of it when he is spending us into oblivion with the Iraq war and cutting back taxes (especially for those that can afford it) so we have nothing to pay for the war with. The finical woes he has created are starting to fester in among other forms of a weak dollar (which kicked my school loaned ass all over the place while interning in Europe).

#2 His idea of privatization of SS is, in theory, great (and contrary to the article I cited earlier I do think it is in trouble). For me, a person whose parents and grand parents held off on buying Star Wars and Transformer action figures and instead set me up with bonds, IRAs, and stocks (I am [very] thankful now but trust me, that made for a really frustrating childhood sometimes) it will work nicely; I was happy when he raised (doubled?) the yearly contribution limit on Roth IRAs but again, I think I might be the minority. I am now imbued (brainwashed?) with the mentality of saving, investing, and semi-thrifty spending but I am the minority. I have worked in some pretty blue collar areas (farming, construction, call centers [ok that’s border line]) where educations were lower and MBAs pretty rare, the mindset is different there. There is no way for me to say this without seeming self-righteous and elitist but not everyone handles their money very well. I never got over the irony of working in the call center (of a bank) where I would say over 75% of the people didn’t use their 401k plan; and construction listening to guys say “yeah, I figure right before I retire I’ll put my money in an IRA account and then live off that” (well at least he had heard of an IRA).

Bush needs (and never will) understand that the majority of people will mismanage their money, they do not have daddy to help them along with investments. What he wants to do is privatize SS and give people the choice of how to save their money. Granted, the system we have now is defunct at best, but giving the average Joe the option to handle that little bit of savings (which too many people rely way to heavily upon) isn’t going to help the majority, but of course all the well to do steeped-in-the-arts-of-savings-and-investment will profit handsomely from this I am sure.

Perhaps I am wrong, maybe bush does understand about the little guys, but just doesn’t care.