In His Defense, Bacon IS Yummy

« February 2005 »

Memo to President Bush: YOU FORGOT YOUR BULGE.

Remember the Bulge? Whether it's an earpiece and receiver, an Invisible Fence-type device to keep him "on message", or a Keeper, whatever it was, our beloved President didn't have it this weekend in Tampa.

El Presidurhay was pushing his Social Security plan, known internally as Epic Clusterfuck v2.0. You see, Social Security will be bankrupt sometime between 1988 and 2060, depending on who you ask and when you ask them. Oh, and you have to change the definition of "bankrupt" to mean "needing money from some other source". The government takes money from "some other source" all the time. Hell, they take it from Social Security all the time.

So, anyway, Social Security's long-term financial stability is DOOMED. Because of this, our Glorious Leader has proposed personalizing Social Security through personal savings accounts that would sort of be yours personally and sort of not. The plan used to be to "privatize" social security through "private" accounts, but "private" became a dirty word in the post-Ashcroft era in at least three semantically distinct ways, so they changed the word. This plan, according to Dick Cheney, will cost trillions of dollars. This plan, according to White House officials, will not actually change the long-term financial outlook of Social Security at all.

The people who are SELLING this to us are already doing so on the basis that it'll be really expensive and it won't work! I mean, how dumb do they think we are? Oh, wait. They have four years of rock-solid data on exactly how dumb we are. But still, contempt this brazen does cause a bit of... I hate to call it "intellectual" curiosity in the American public. But a tiny bit of cognitive dissonance in the tiny bit of cognition we as a society occasionally remember we're capable of. So, in Tampa, someone asked our President how his plan would keep Social Security from running out of money.

And like his predecessors before him, Bush stepped up to the plate and gave it his all, giving a speech that, if there's any justice in this world, will go down in history next to "We hold these truths to be self-evident", "Four score and seven years ago", "The bombing will begin in five minutes", and "I did not have sexual relations with that woman" in the annals of the presidency. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!"

Because the -- all which is on the table begins to address the big cost drivers. For example, how benefits are calculate, for example, is on the table; whether or not benefits rise based upon wage increases or price increases. There's a series of parts of the formula that are being considered. And when you couple that, those different cost drivers, affecting those -- changing those with personal accounts, the idea is to get what has been promised more likely to be -- or closer delivered to what has been promised."

Now, Bush may be incredibly stupid, but even he realized his answer left a bit to be desired. I believe he was tipped off by the spontaneous death-by-aneurysm of four economists, three linguists, and a canary in the front row alone. The rest of the audience, I'd like to believe, stood there, mouths agape, awash in the realization that, as Florida voters, they most likely had cast their votes in November for this stumbling buffoon who just turned the cow of logic into a fine mist of blood and bone. He had, in the vernacular, "lost them".

And he had to get them back. So he collected his thought, mulled it over, realized that though "bacon is yummy", that has no bearing on the current situation. So he waited for the voice in his ear to tell him what to say, waited for the voice of GOD HIMSELF to tell him what to say, realized he was on his own, and, throwing caution to the winds, dove back in for another try.

"Does that make any sense to you? It's kind of muddled. Look, there's a series of things that cause the -- like, for example, benefits are calculated based upon the increase of wages, as opposed to the increase of prices. Some have suggested that we calculate -- the benefits will rise based upon inflation, as opposed to wage increases. There is a reform that would help solve the red if that were put into effect. In other words, how fast benefits grow, how fast the promised benefits grow, if those -- if that growth is affected, it will help on the red. Okay, better? I'll keep working on it."

If, at some point over the weekend, you found your dictionary in the corner, whimpering and on fire, now you know why.

Let's set aside political ideology for a moment. If I ask the guy at McDonalds how the Combo Meal works, and he can't tell me that for $5.99, I get a sandwich, fries, and a fountain drink, then he cannot do the fucking job. If I go to Best Buy, and ask the guy in the blue shirt how a DVD player works, and he tells me that magical fairies who have every movie in the universe memorized leap off the disk and into my TV, where they act out the movie and write subtitles down by hand, he cannot do the fucking job. And if I ask the President of the United States how his second-term, cornerstone plan to change Social Security works, and he tells me what he told the people in Tampa, he cannot do the fucking job.