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Friday, April 29, 2005

There's Got to Be a Morning After

Maybe someone put something in my drink last night, because I felt pretty good about Bush's press conference. I thought the president outlined a reasonable plan for reform (detailed here for those who missed it), but I must have been watching "The Simple Life" by accident because all I see in this morning's headlines is "BUSH PROPOSES BENEFITS CUTS!". Well, no, that's not what he proposed at all, but the truth never got in the way of a good headline.

I've come to expect this sort of thing from the mainstream media, along with various complaints and confusion from the pundits on the right. The liberals have responded with the usual shotgun blast critique: personal accounts are a privatization scheme, "means testing" hurts the middle class, there is no crisis, and of course, Bush lied.

It's all nonsense of course, and as I find articles explaining it better than I canI'll link to them. For the moment I'd like to point out an opportunity to expose one of Big Lies of the Democratic platform. Throughout last year's presidential campaign and continuing into the debate over Social Security reform, the Democrat's goto answer for all of life's ills is: Tax the Rich! A surefire way to win votes, but that's because people tend to consider the guy next door "rich", while they remain safely pegged at "upper-middle class".

Bush's proposal has the potential to tear down this illusion. Democrat's are already calling "means testing" an attack on the middle class. I find this strange since this is exactly the same group the Dems propose raising taxes for: people making over $100k a year. Like John Q. Public, Dems like to have a sliding scale for the term "rich" depending on what benefits them. If Republican leadership stages this debate correctly, they can lock that scale permanently.

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