Tuesday, May 10, 2005

NYT's Brooks: Don't trust me.

I read David Brook's column, Calling Democrats' Bluff, in the local paper. I usually avoid Brooks, as most of his work is based on such poor logic that its no problem to dismiss. This time, I was caught by his first three sentences.

Don't take people at their word. Don't listen to them when they tell you how to be virtuous.

They're faking it.
He goes on to (poorly) claim that Bush has beaten the Democrats at their own game, by cutting benefits only for the wealthy. His logic seems to be based on calling Bush's current plan "progressive." Too bad its just an Orwellian scheme. He's faking it.

Over the past few weeks, the president has called their bluff. By embracing the progressive indexing of Social Security benefits, the president has asked us to make a shared sacrifice for the common good. He's asking middle- and upper-class folks to accept benefit cuts so there will be money for the people who are really facing poverty.

He has asked us to redistribute money down the income scale. Why should programs for children and families be strangled so Donald Trump can get bigger benefit checks?

Hmmm. I didn't know that the middle class starts at 20k. Wow. That means a science grad student is middle class at many universities. I wonder if they would agree. Fast food employees employees would suddenly become middle class. A single working mother of three would be in poverty under $19,350, working class up to 20k, and middle class above 20k. Welcome to the land of Bush.

Donald Trump on the other hand will benefit greatly from the money that comes his way due to the infusion of fresh capitol into the stock market. Besides, Bush is already strangling programs for children and families so Trump can keep his tax cut.

He has made the hard choices. By facing up to the fact that there are going to be benefit cuts, he's offended Newt Gingrich, Jack Kemp, the supply siders and other important Republican constituencies.

Has Bush made hard choices, or is the SS Dubya going down, with all the rats jumping overboard? Gingrich the Newt has been making noises about running for president, and Kemp always wants to run. Neither of them want to be associated with such a lost (and rotten) cause as Bush's SocSec plan. They are politicians first, and see the poll numbers. Brooks wants you to think he can be taken at his word, that he is virtuous. He's faking it.

Paul Krugman has a much more in depth response to Brooks.

by Robster @ 5/10/2005 08:34:00 PM PERMALink