Monday, March 03, 2008



Growing bored of all the McCain scandals involving lobbyists, old (actually pretty young) girlfriends (who are lobbyists), right-wing hucksters who specialize in hate-mongering and bigotry (but are like quasi-lobbyists)? Well, of all places, today's Wall Street Journal offers another reason why a vote for John McCain is like a social suicide pill waiting for you to swallow.

Bush couldn't accomplish the ultimate Republican Party dream of dismantling Social Security. McCain wants to try. "The all-but-certain Republican presidential nominee cast himself as a defender of the Bush tax cuts he voted against, but added caveats to a "no new taxes" vow he made on a Sunday television talk show two weeks ago. On Social Security, the Arizona senator says he still backs a system of private retirement accounts that President Bush pushed unsuccessfully, and disowned details of a Social Security proposal on his campaign Web site."

Like I've been saying all along-- a third term for Bush-- endless war in Iraq, continued redistribution of wealth upwards, out of the hands of middle class working people and into the hands of the wealthy.
A centerpiece of a McCain presidential bid in 2000 was a plan to divert a portion of Social Security payroll taxes to fund private accounts, much as President Bush proposed unsuccessfully. Under the plan, workers could manage the money in stocks and bonds themselves to build a nest egg and, at retirement, also receive reduced Social Security payments from the government. Proponents say the combination of the nest egg and government payouts could give a retiree more than the current system, but opponents say the change would undermine the Social Security system.

Sen. McCain's 2008 presidential campaign Web site takes a different view, proposing "supplementing" the existing full Social Security system with personally managed accounts. Such accounts wouldn't substitute for guaranteed payments, and they wouldn't be financed by diverting a portion of Social Security payroll taxes.

Mr. McCain's chief economic aide, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former head of the Congressional Budget Office, says economic circumstances forced changes concerning Social Security policy. Vast budget surpluses projected in 2000 evaporated with a recession, the Bush tax cuts and the cost of responding to Sept. 11.

As a result, the McCain campaign says the candidate intends to keep Social Security solvent by reducing the growth in benefits over the coming decades to match projected growth in payroll tax revenues. Among the options are extending the retirement age to 68 and reducing cost-of-living adjustments, but the campaign hasn't made any final decisions.

"You can't keep promises made to retirees," says Mr. Holtz-Eakin, referring to the level of benefits the government is supposed to pay future retirees. "But you can pay future retirees more than current retirees."

Asked about the apparent change in position in the interview, Sen. McCain said he hadn't made one. "I'm totally in favor of personal savings accounts," he says. When reminded that his Web site says something different, he says he will change the Web site. (As of Sunday night, he hadn't.) "As part of Social Security reform, I believe that private savings accounts are a part of it-- along the lines that President Bush proposed."

If you hear someone repeating the media hype-- basically the McCain PR line-- that he is an independent and a moderate, just remind them that he fully intends to prioritize the wrecking of Social Security, right after instituting a military draft. There's no doubt in my mind that McCain will be even worse for America than Bush. Of course if you're one of the 18% of registered voters who think Bush is doing a good job as president, McCain is your man.

And if you wonder whether McCain has sold out to the most vile right wing elements in the GOP, just ask one (of the most vile right wing elements). Try former lobbyist Haley Barbour (R-MS) for instace, who endorsed McCain today. This is what Haley Barbour has always said about John McCain-- until today:

h/t: AmericaBlog


Vote Republican?

Tomorrow's NY Times is reporting that oilmen Bush and Cheney have finally, in the 7th year of their administration, reached one of their primary goals: a record high in oil prices. When Clinton handed over the White House keys to the oilmen the price of oil was $36 and change/barrel. It hit $103.95 today and closed at $102.45, higher than the inflation-adjusted rate hit in 1980. Policies outlined by McCain's campaign indicate that $100 a barrel oil will be something that will be remembered as the good old days after a few years of McCain in the White House.

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At 4:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

At 7:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

McCain: Less Jobs, More War. NOW with less social security.


At 10:34 PM, Anonymous Bil said...

Right on Prof.

FOUR MORE YEARS! MORE dividing, LESS uniting...


At 12:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone taking bets oil/gasoline prices will drop before November Election? (of course only after setting new records in sumer and sapping all working families out of $100's extra in the summer)

Also it doesn't help that Bush is allowing the US$ to drop like a rocket.


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