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Food For Thought

Perhaps you or a friend of yours works on the staff of a Republican Senator member of congress not planning to retire in the next four years. If so, you may want to point out to your boss the, er, convenient timing of the Bush Social Security Phase-Out to begin in the year 2009 when he will no longer be in office. The anonymous briefer last night offered some kind of vague rationalization for this, but intentionally or not it has the consequence of sheltering the president from the actual consequences of the policy he's proposing. Members and Senators hoping to be running for re-election in 2012, 2014, and 2016 (you know you're out there) may wonder if the combination of steep benefit cuts and a transition cost-fueled debt crisis are really going to be helping incumbents. You might also want to recall the strange case of Medicare "reform" where the bill passed before Bush's re-election, and goodies (drug discount card starting in 2004, subsidies for drugs in 2006) phase-in while he's in office, while ill-understood poison pill structural reforms phase in once he's back on the ranch. Your arms were mightily twisted and the laws of these United States repeatedly violated to get you to vote for the bill. One key argument was that passage of the law was vital to the president's political fortunes, and that your fortunes were tied to his. However true that may or may not have been, you are now untied, and he's once again asking you to pass something that will create all kinds of problems for your career down the road that he himself won't need to deal with.

February 3, 2005 | Permalink


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Hell, I'd tell 'em to worry about '06.

Posted by: Petey | Feb 3, 2005 11:21:35 PM

but you see, matthew, it's sad to say but the gop members of congress appear to have place their brains into some kind of trust for the duration of the bush administration, at which point they may ask for them back....

Posted by: howard | Feb 3, 2005 11:22:47 PM

Oh please, everybody knows it's all Clinton's fault. Only those liberal elite that believe the liberal media would think otherwise.

Or something like that.

Posted by: Timothy Klein | Feb 3, 2005 11:36:01 PM

The other reason for this delay and phase-in is
to maintain some kind of plausibility for Bush's
promise to cut the deficit in half in 5 years
(I think it was by 2009). He wants to get at
least close to that in 2009, even if the deficit
then goes right back up and soars into the
stratosphere for 2010 and later.

But how can anyone take any of this seriously
when they're saying "There's a crisis! There's
a crisis right now! And the solution can be phased
in slowly starting in 2009".

Trouble is, when Bush needs to distract everyone
from this debacle, he's going to invade somewhere,
or at least bomb something.

Posted by: Richard Cownie | Feb 4, 2005 12:10:35 AM

Actually, I think it's just as much about clearing the way for Jeb Bush as it is for senators/congress. This way Jeb doesn't have to deal with the immediate consequences of most of the first year of the cuts as he's campaigning for Prez in '08

Posted by: quietpc3400 | Feb 4, 2005 1:05:49 AM

Why should George W. Bush be placed in a position where he may have to deal with the results of his actions. That's what freedom is really about...avoiding responsibility.

Let's get to the real question, "Matt - why do you hate America?"

Posted by: Brad | Feb 4, 2005 3:53:22 AM

The current unexplained campaign against "free speech" appears to be little more than a Madison Avenue scheme to control any discussion of the President's desire to privatize higher education.

That is, a number of for-profit colleges have faced inquiries, lawsuits and other actions calling into question the way they inflate enrollment to mislead/increase the value of their parent company's stock.

In the last year, the Career Education Corporation of Hoffman Estates, Ill., has faced lawsuits, from shareholders and students, contending that, among other things, its colleges have inflated enrollment numbers. In addition, F.B.I. agents raided 10 campuses run by ITT Educational Services of Carmel, Ind., looking for similar problems.

But there is a bigger can of worms.

Kaplan, Inc., is wholly own by the Washington Post Company. For-profit postsecondary education has turned the company around and individuals far more powerful than Martha Steward have made millions. However, there is a nominal "Watergate" styled federal court proceeding (scandal) involving campus "free speech," that could expose the administration's violation of public trust

In short, I provided the S.E.C., Department of Education, and federal courts information that appears to prove Kaplan inflated the Concord School of Law enrollment, telling investors that the “flagship” of its higher education division has as many as 600 to 1000 or more students.

I also provided evidence to prove apparent violations of sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder.

However, in an attempt to protect important icons of the Washington and New York financial/political circle, hacks have been hired to stir a free speech controversy.

But even Stan Chess (En Passant http://lawtv.typepad.com/en_passant/2004/a_question_of_l.html) innocently questioned the obvious - a clear violation of the federal securities laws.

"Kaplan's Concord School of Law says it's one of the largest law schools in the country, yet for each administration only about 25 of its graduates sit for the bar exam. What happens to the hundreds of other students in each class?"

What are you willing to do?

Posted by: kstreetfriend | Feb 4, 2005 6:32:45 AM

Matt, what would the changes do for survivors benefits???? Red state stay at home moms want to know.

Posted by: JL | Feb 4, 2005 8:05:06 AM

> it's sad to say but the gop members of congress appear
> to have place their brains into some kind of trust for
> the duration of the bush administration, a

I don't think the brain is the part of the anatomy that has been taken hostage. Or at least not _only_ the brain....


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Posted by: Movie Guy | Feb 5, 2005 12:54:27 AM

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