May 4, 2005

Pelosi on Social Security

I thought the following post from the Wall-Street Journal was amusing. Although I am not sure Bush is right in his approach to Social Security, I know I don't agree with Pelosi. In fact, I don't think I agree with hardly anything she ever says-- on anything!

Best of the Web Today - May 2, 2005


You Bet Your Life
ABC doesn't put transcripts of "This Week With George Stephanopoulos" on its Web site, which means it goes pretty much unnoticed except for TiVo-equipped political junkies. Fortunately for you, dear reader, your humble columnist is just such a junkie, and we sit through "This Week" so you don't have to. Anyway, here's a hilarious exchange from Stephanopoulos's interview yesterday with Nancy Pelosi, the House minority leader:

Stephanopoulos: Why should American people trust the Democrats [on Social Security] if you don't have a specific plan?

Pelosi: The American people should trust the Democrats because we originated Social Security. This was a very entrepreneurial idea of the New Deal and Democrats will not allow the Republicans to turn this great deal for the American people into a raw deal for them by what they are proposing. They've never really supported Social Security, and the way to damage it, I'm trying to select my word carefully, is to destroy the universality of it. The genius of Social Security at the time was that everybody supported it in terms of the working families of America because they got a stream of income commensurate to what they put into the program.

So the Republicans have "never really supported Social Security" even though at the time it originated "everybody supported it." Granted, the GOP was the minority party in 1935, but like the Democrats today, it never quite ceased to exist.

Even funnier is Pelosi's statement that "the American people should trust the Democrats because we originated Social Security." Sounds great, except that Claude Pepper died in 1989, and every other New Deal-era Democrat we can think of predeceased him. Even Robert "Archaeopteryx" Byrd arrived in Congress almost 18 years after the passage of the Social Security Act.

Pelosi's comment has overtones of Marx--not Karl but Groucho, who in "A Night at the Opera" uttered this line: "Nix on the love-making because I saw Mrs. Claypool first. Of course, her mother really saw her first but there's no point in bringing the Civil War into this."

"A Night at the Opera" came out in 1935--the year Social Security was born, 70 years after the end of the Civil War, and 70 years before Nancy Pelosi's Marxian performance on "This Week."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That's just great. He totally neglected to mention the enormous changes that have been made to social security over the years. First of all, it was originally optional. You could opt in or opt out at your leisure. Second, it was guaranteed to always be optional. Third, your social security number was designed to *never* be used as a means of identification. There are more but I don't remember them off the top of my head. What a joke.