Calhoun’s Can(n)ons, The Bay New, Los Osos, CA For Feb 1. 06
Hide the Silverware!
And lock your daughters up. President Bush is going to launch his new plan to “improve” our abysmal health care system. You know, like he did with his New! Improved! plan to “save” Social Security? Soon we can look forward to more Potemkin Village Town Hall Meetings with carefully screened shills in the audience – “Mr. President. You’re doing a heck of a job. Please tell me how I’ll save lots of money with your new plan? ” to which George will reply:
Because the – all which is on the table begins to address the big cost drivers. For example, how benefits are calculate [sic], 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 hat 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. . . . 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.
When I first read the above, I thought it was some sort of Urban Legend making its way around the internet, but a check with http://www.snopes.com/ indicates – Alas -- those are verbatim remarks Our George made last year while ‘splaining his Social Security “reforms.”
Actually, Bush could save us all a lot of time on explanations. Like it’s predecessor, the appalling Medicare Part D scheme, the new “plan” will just be another huge tax-payer subsidized giveaway to Big Pharma and the Insurance Industry, so all Bush needs to do is to tell the American people, “Look in the phone book. Find the name of a big drug or insurance company, any one will do. Send them all your money, then go back to eating cat food and macaroni and cheese and shut up.”
That’s the kind of public policy you get in a country owned by corporations. People are not important, but the bottom line sure is, which is what keeps the K Street lobbyists busy tending their fully-owned creatures in Congress. With Chief Justice Roberts (corporate guy) on the Supreme court and Judge Alito soon to be confirmed (with a paper trail indicating a consistent, strong support for choosing the power of the government over individual rights), the country is finally set for the last link in the neoconservative Republican Revolution – Making the country and the world safe and profitable for [insert brand name here] while keeping the Teapot Dome Kleptocracy safe from legal accountability so they can continue to raid the public treasury on behalf of their corporate clients.
That the American people were and still are active participants in creating and sustaining the very system that’s gleefully picking their pockets is one of the more interesting political stories of the century. That they are willing to pay such a high price for their fleecing is what makes this story such a comic one.
Heck of a job, George, heck of a job.
Meanwhile, the headlines continue to amuse: College students flunk literacy study: Many of those nearing graduation cannot handle such tasks as understanding newspaper editorials and comparing credit card offers, researchers find, which no doubt explains why average un-college educated Americans can’t seem to connect the dots. Or, As Profits Soar, Companies Pay U.S. [treasury] Less for gas royalties on public lands, thanks to recently loosened oversight laws and hobbled government auditors. And this, United States Ranks 28th on Environment, a New Study Says. The report will be presented at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The forum is an “annual conclave of business and political leaders” and the group will soon learn that the most powerful country on the planet ranks behind most of Western Europe, Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia, Costa Rica and Chile on an “Environmental Sustainability Index.” Chile?
Thankfully, however, the report shows us coming out ahead of Russia, a failing state now sliding into a mess awash with corruption and loose nukes ripe for the black market. Not great, but that’s what you get when you settle for crumbs and low expectations.