Monday, August 23, 2010

In an age of deceit

In an age of deceit, telling the truth is revolutionary. -- George Orwell

As the campaigns heat up for the November elections, so does the deceit.

President Obama on Aug 14:

Some Republican leaders in Congress don’t seem to have learned any lessons from the past few years. They’re pushing to make privatizing Social Security a key part of their legislative agenda if they win a majority in Congress this fall. It’s right up there on their to-do list with repealing some of the Medicare benefits and reforms that are adding at least a dozen years to the fiscal health of Medicare – the single longest extension in history.
But according to, this is "mostly false."
It’s simply not true that the Republican leadership of either the House or the Senate is currently pushing to allow any portion of Social Security taxes — let alone all Social Security taxes — to be invested in the stock market. Only one House member who could be characterized as a GOP "leader" — Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin — is currently voicing public support for limited, voluntary private accounts for workers age 55 and under.

Obama also misled his audience when he said the Republicans favored "tying your benefits to the whims of Wall Street traders and the ups and downs of the stock market."

It’s quite true that private accounts would be subject to the "ups and downs of the stock market" — for those who chose to take that risk. But the plan proposed by Bush (and currently by Ryan) was optional. Nobody would have been forced to participate.

Furthermore, the plan Bush proposed would have allowed investment only in government-approved mutual funds, and only a relatively small portion of total benefits upon retirement would have depended on the performance of these funds. also has some interesting comments about the California governor's race. Here, both sides are distorting facts.

Why do our politicians -- from both sides -- feel they need to lie to get elected? Something is very dysfunctional in either our system, or our society.

No comments: