Monday, May 09, 2005

Land of Make Believe

From today’s Krugman column from the editorial page in The New York Times
Let's consider the Bush tax cuts and the Bush benefit cuts as a package. Who gains? Who loses?

Suppose you're a full-time Wal-Mart employee, earning $17,000 a year. You probably didn't get any tax cut. But Mr. Bush says, generously, that he won't cut your Social Security benefits.

Suppose you're earning $60,000 a year. On average, Mr. Bush cut taxes for workers like you by about $1,000 per year. But by 2045 the Bush Social Security plan would cut benefits for workers like you by about $6,500 per year. Not a very good deal.

Suppose, finally, that you're making $1 million a year. You received a tax cut worth about $50,000 per year. By 2045 the Bush plan would reduce benefits for people like you by about $9,400 per year. We have a winner!

I'm not being unfair. In fact, I've weighted the scales heavily in Mr. Bush's favor, because the tax cuts will cost much more than the benefit cuts would save. Repealing Mr. Bush's tax cuts would yield enough revenue to call off his proposed benefit cuts, and still leave $8 trillion in change.

The point is that the privatizers consider four years of policies that relentlessly favored the wealthy a fait accompli, not subject to reconsideration. Now that tax cuts have busted the budget, they want us to accept large cuts in Social Security benefits as inevitable. But they demand that we praise Mr. Bush's sense of social justice, because he proposes bigger benefit cuts for the middle class than for the poor.

Sorry, but no. Mr. Bush likes to play dress-up, but his Robin Hood costume just doesn't fit.

It’s not the only time Bush has played dress-up. In Bush world appearance is always the opposite of truth. Remember the warrior flight suit costume? The reality was he lost his flight status. The facts are here.

How about the rugged, Texas rancher costume? Truth is he was a prep school graduate and a Yale cheerleader.It would be nice, for old time’s sake, if he cut some brush in his cheerleaders suit.

Cheney too likes to play dress-up. "Sportsmen for Bush/Cheney will remember the outdoorsman/hunter look. The costume is great but when it actually comes to hunting Cheney gets delivered to upscale private preserves and blazes away at pen raised birds released in front of him. One day he shot seventy tame pheasants.

And of course for both there's always the hawk costume concealing the chickenhawk reality.


Tim Worstall said...

Didn’t you spotthe error in the numbers? The guy on $60k does really well under the plan.

Jim said...

Tim, Just went to your website and scrolled down to comments posted further down. Reading them Krugman sounds right again.

Point is, layout the historic actions and policies of the Bush administration and claims that they don't favor the wealthy over the common man and woman sound like evangelicals claiming they don't favor patriarchies.