Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Bush Tries To Speak Like Grownup -- Nobody Understands

At a recent presidential town hall meeting to sell Social Security reform, the following exchange took place between an audience member and the president:

Hand-Picked Audience Member: "I don't really understand. How is it the new [Social Security] plan is going to fix the problem?"

Verbatim response: (Pay Attention, now...you don't want to miss anything important.)

President Bush: "Because the -- all which is on the table begins to address the big cost drivers. For example, how benefits are calculated, for example, is on the table. Whether or not benefits rise based upon wage increases or price increases. There's a series of parts of the formula that are being considered. And when you couple that, those different cost drivers, affecting those -- changing those with personal accounts, the idea is to get what has been promised more likely to be -- or closer delivered to that has been promised.
Does that make any sense to you? It's kind of muddled. Look, there's a series of things that cause the -- like, for example, benefits are calculated based upon the increase of wages, as opposed to the increase of prices. Some have suggested that we calculate -- the benefits will rise based upon inflation, as opposed to wage increases. There is a reform that would help solve the red if that were put into effect. In other words, how fast benefits grow, how fast the promised benefits grow, if those -- if that growth is affected, it will help on the red."

Gee, this plan sells itself!