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April 29, 2005

Reduce The Size of the Government! But Don't Touch My SS Benefits!

It's always dangerous to get into a fight with your readers, but I have to make this point.

Conservatives have been slagging Bush for not doing anything to reduce the government's out-of-control spending.

Well, now he has. He's made a controversial proposal -- likely to drop his popularity rating by 5-8 points -- to reduce the rate of growth in our ever-escalating SS benefits.

By the way, it's been argued for years the current formula is over-generous as as sop to the super-voting elderly, as the COLA adjustments (or whatever they're called now) not only beat inflation, but do so handily, and don't take into account simple reality like cutting back on beef when beef becomes temporarily expensive. (I.e., the formulas do not take into account what all consumers actually do-- substitute one food for another when one food's prices go through a temporary spike.)

So... Bush wants to cut government spending, and in a way that will substantially shore up Social Security's solvency (although a few other steps will have to be taken; but this will take care of the lion's share of the problem), and conservatives seem... angry.

Well, which is it? Do you really want government spending reduced or not? You can't argue about reducing spending all the live-long day on blogs and forums and then complain the moment Bush actually suggests doing so.

Quite frankly, it's that sort of say-one-thing-demand-another dealio that causes such dysfunction in our political system in the first place.

Does Bush (and every other president) seem half-hearted and contradictory in his impulses?

Well, he's just reflecting the will of the electorate. And if the will of the electorate is muddled, the policies proposed by the elected officials representing the electorate will reflect those muddled wills.

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posted by Ace at 12:27 PM

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