WUI (Writing under the influence)

Somebody once said we are all Americans, sometimes born in the wrong places.
On a warm autumn day in 1986, while enjoying beer with my college buddies,
I decided to join my new homeland.

I've come to appreciate the ideals that helped create this great country.
Liberalism, political-correctness, multiculturalism and moral equivalence
are destroying it.

This old house Grovenet Wal*Mart Visiting Poland American wine better than French.

Friday, February 04, 2005

 

Blinded

The Oregonian accuses Bush of creating problems he now wants to fix.

Fixing self-made problems

It's somewhat encouraging that the Oregonian considers Social Security a problem. Social Security is a sham. If FDR was today the CEO of a corporation that pushed Social Security as an retirement investment strategy, he would end up in jail followed by LBJ. But does the Oregonian see the war on terror also as a self-made problem?

In the State of the Union speech, President Bush takes aim at fixable problems that he helped create

The plot thickens. I thought it was FDR (Social Security), OBL and Saddam Hussein (terror) who created problems.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

By his proposals, if not exactly by the words he used Wednesday, President Bush told Americans something most of them already know: The state of the Union could be better.

Was it ever perfect? Oh, that's right, between 1993 and 2000.

The president laid out some of his agenda to address two of our most pressing concerns -- the war in Iraq and the future of the Social Security system without really acknowledging that both of them are, by and large, problems of our own creation.

Wrong. First, Bush did mention that Social Security was good enough (of a sham) for 20th century. Blaming the US for the war in Iraq is like blaming a rape victim for wearing a short skirt.

In Iraq, of course, the president launched a war that now everyone knows was based on false strategic premises. Everyone knows, too -- or should know -- that the administration miscalculated as to the military situation in Iraq. It also failed to correctly assess the forces in Iraqi society that would come into play after the destruction of Saddam Hussein's regime.

Wrong. WMD were just one of many reasons. And the strategy may be working. Free and democratic Iraq has a good chance of "corrupting" other regimes. As for miscalculations, no plan can survive the reality of a war.

Those failures do not relieve the United States of the responsibility for building a new society in Iraq that is capable of serving the aspirations of the Iraqi people.

Who is talking about relieving the US from anything except for Democrats? They, especially Kerry, pushed the US out of Vietnam. Now, they would like to lose another war.

The fact that Iraqis did not pour into the streets to greet their allied liberators, as some in the administration once suggested they might, does not mean Iraq and the world will not be better off with a humane regime in place. Whatever else has been done, and whatever miscalculations now seem obvious, the successful conducting of Sunday's elections was a real victory for Bush, the United States and, most importantly, the Iraqis. The elections offer hope that a better future remains possible.

We did miscalculate how oppressed they were. After the UN left them to fend for themselves in 1991 they didn't trust anybody.

Charles Krauthammer makes the same point in his recent column:

"Why weren't Iraqis dancing in the streets on the day Saddam Hussein fell, critics have asked sneeringly. Some Iraqis, the young and more reckless, did dance. Others, I suspect, were too scared, waiting to see how things turned out. Would the United States leave them hanging as in 1991? Would it leave behind a 'moderate' Baathist thug in its place?

"Nearly 22 months later, Iraqis seemed convinced that there would indeed be a new day. And that is when the dancing started--voters dancing and singing and celebrating, thrusting into the air their ink-stained fingers, symbol of their initiation into democracy. It was an undeniable, if delayed, feeling of liberation."

Also, can you imagine? Two successful elections for the US in 3 months.

The other big topic was Social Security. "Fixing Social Security permanently will require an open, candid review of the options," the president said. "I will work with members of Congress to find the most effective combination of reforms."

Maybe that means Bush will be more flexible than he started out to be. He is right about one thing: The system really does need to be fixed now, and not later, as many of Bush's Democratic opponents suggest.

Good start. But I really hope Bush sticks to his guns. There may only be this one chance to do anything. Let Bush use all his political capital on this issue; after 2008, he won't need it.

In something as complicated as Social Security, you can never know for sure what the limits are to any politician's flexibility. But Bush's words Wednesday suggested that the range of policy choices he'll endorse are quite limited.

It's possible to fix what ails Social Security without turning it on its ear. Relatively minor benefit cuts or relatively minor tax increases, or a combination of the two, would put the program on a sound actuarial footing.

Cut benefits? Yes! In fact, cut the whole thing. Raise taxes? Absolutely not! Social Security is a sham. Unless Americans start reproducing like mice, two workers will have to support one retiree. Why not just tell those two workers to support their own parents? That's the way it's supposed to be anyway.

The president's proposal for diverting some Social Security taxes into voluntary personal investment accounts relies too heavily on rosy economic scenarios and fiscal practices that have the nation facing deficits as far into the future as anyone can reasonably see.

So the Oregonian doesn't believe in free market economies. Without any changes, we will be blinded by those deficits the way the Oregonian is blinded by its partisan zeal.

There is merit in the idea that the United States must become an "ownership" society in order to best face the economic future. But there are, it is clear, ways to promote that without jeopardizing the basic social insurance benefit on which Americans have come to rely in their old age.

Americans have come to rely on a sham that FDR pushed on them. It's time to push back. It's time to rely on families and not the government. Saying that Social Security is an insurance requires a lot of audacity. Social Security has become a big entitlement that will bankrupt this country unless completely reformed.

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