Friday, December 10, 2004

No Pay, No Play

The Moose observes that the President apparently is the Harry Houdini of fiscal policy.

Only mystical magical powers can explain how the President plans to pay for the some two trillion dollars in transition costs for his social security plan. This from today's Washington Post -

"The Bush administration said yesterday that it can create private Social Security accounts for younger workers without raising taxes or breaking the president's pledge to cut the deficit in half by 2009."

One only wonders whether David Copperfield will be the next Chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisers!

A few days ago, the Moose praised Senator Lindsey Graham for having the integrity to propose raising payroll taxes on upper income individuals to pay for reform. That proposal was rejected by the high priests of economic theology of the Bush Administration.

No, the $2 trillion transition costs will be paid for on the "faith based lay away plan", otherwise known as "charging it." It will come as no surprise that the Bush plan is deeply cynical. By failing to pay for their reform, the Bushies force Democrats to either accept an astronomical national debt or else to favor cutbacks to preserve the system. Pain free reform is the Bushies' mantra, while they further restrain discretionary government spending even for national defense.

The Democrats can have an easy answer for this type of "reform" - no pay, no play. While the Moose has indicated that the Democrats must consider a reform alternative proposal of their own, the Bush folks are laying down ground rules for this debate that are impossible to accept.

Reform without responsibility is a non-starter.
-- Posted at 3:20 PM | Link to this post | Email this post