Sunday, May 08, 2005

Another brief break

My computer is going to the shop for a few days, so posting will be light or nonexistent until it returns to the fold.

David Brooks is Writing , He Must Be Lying

From today's New York Times:

Calling Democrats' Bluff

Democrats have been hectoring President Bush in the manner of an overripe Fourth of July orator. The president should be summoning us to make shared sacrifices for the common good. The president should care for the poor, and stop favoring the rich. He should make the hard choices and impose a little fiscal discipline on government.


Over the past few weeks, the president has called their bluff. By embracing the progressive indexing of Social Security benefits, the president has asked us to make a shared sacrifice for the common good. He's asking middle- and upper-class folks to accept benefit cuts so there will be money for the people who are really facing poverty.

He has asked us to redistribute money down the income scale. Why should programs for children and families be strangled so Donald Trump can get bigger benefit checks?

He has made the hard choices. By facing up to the fact that there are going to be benefit cuts, he's offended Newt Gingrich, Jack Kemp, the supply siders and other important Republican constituencies.

This column is so full of lies and false assumptions it's hard to know where to begin. Like, since when are Newt Gingrich & Jack Kemp important Republican constituencies? Is it 1994 or am I am in a time warp? David Brooks is such a tool. He's a fine inheritor of the legacy of William Safire, the former biggest liar on the New York Times editorial page.

Other lies: Bush has made the hard choices. No he hasn't! He has no plan. He's wildly floating ideas now that he sees his initial idea for destroying Social Security has tanked. But that's still his goal. Progressive indexing is just a more upfront way of destroying Social Security. Let's lower benefits for most of the people who pay into the system! Nothing will be more effective in lowering popular support for the system than making it all a big welfare program. (Oh, and Republicans love welfare programs, right? NOT.) Most people hate paying taxes. Are they going to feel better about paying social security tax knowing they will have to be abjectly poor to collect? Of course not.

Now, remember that less than a month ago, the Republicans abolished the inheritance tax. Didn't affect one single middle-class person, as the ONLY estates taxed were those over one million dollars in value. (Legal note: Since most married people hold their houses in joint tenancy, the house is NOT part of the estate. It passes directly to the joint tenant when the other joint tenant dies. So, we are talking about one millions dollars in other assets! Not exactly a middle class issue.)

This progressive indexing idea will cut benefits to almost every middle class working person who pays into the system. So who does David Brooks use as an example of who will be affected? Donald Trump. What does Donald Trump care about a measly $1000 a month when he gets to pass his millions on to his heirs while avoiding millions in inheritance tax?

I can't believe the New York Times pays Brooks to write this horseshit.

Dailykos has a similar take: Stop The Presses, Brooks Lies Again