Friday, March 3, 2006

Doolittle & Retirement Security - Same Old BS

Guest blogger: apocalips

The National Assn. Of Retired Federal Employees (NARFE) met on Feb. 27th to be reassured by Congressman Doolittle spokesperson, Brian Jensen that their promised pensions may or may not be in jeopardy. Tall, dark spokesperson Jensen indicated that Congressman Doolittle supports a reform of Social Security by
  • raising the age limit;
  • income limit;
  • reducing benefits;
  • or partial privatization.
It’s interesting to note that Doolittle supported Bush’s privatization scheme for two years before determining that other options might also be considered.

While discussing the approaching failure of the Social Security system, Mr. Jensen chose not to be critical of the cancerous growth of the federal budget deficit (plus interest) or the scientifically discredited Ballistic Missile program (billions of waste!), or Halliburton waste (merely hundreds of millions), or the the administrations distortions of the true cost of the mismanaged Medicare drug benefit program (Part D). This latter plan, implemented with the same precision and clarity as the Katrina recovery, was approved before government whistleblowers revealed that the cost was understated by over $200 billion – information suppressed by Republican bureaucrats.

Doolittle's surrogate went on to praise the proposed Medical Savings Accounts as a way of paying for unforseen costly medical emergencies. He failed to acknowledge that these accounts bear the same risks as the failed Social Security private accounts.Apparently, the devastating and still rising costs of private U.S. medical care (best system in the world – except for the 45 million who can’t afford it) are not problematic for Mr. Doolittle.

One audience member suggested that private accounts either in Social Security or in Medical Care would guarantee profits for stock market companies and would not eliminate the risk to account holders. Mr. Jensen said that private money ought to be in low risk and historically stable investments.However, since the number of families below the poverty line has increase some 17% during the 5 years of the Bush Admonistration, one has to wonder where such investment money will come from.

It is clear from Mr. Jensen’s comments that Mr. Doolittle’s approach will be more of the same: support the Bush Administration’s wholesale privatization, steer clear of meaningful government budgetary scrutiny, and hope the public doesn’t notice the rising level of poverty or the loss of government monies (and support) for promised pensions. He will, indeed, “do little” to consider creative solutions to problems in his district or the nation.

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