Sunday, April 24, 2005

Faux Finances

In his first of a promised (threatened?) several part series on his cures for the financial woes of the country, Mark Hyman suggests entitlements such as Social Security shouldn’t be “off budget” and that pork should be slashed.

A couple of brief notes here: first,
Social Security’s “off budget” status is a bit hazy to begin with. Whether it is or isn’t depends in large measure on whom you ask and in what context. To the extent that it is off-budget, it is to protect the program’s funding. Bring Social Security back on budget and suddenly it becomes easier to cut it.

Unless, of course, you go the opposite way. Some Republicans want to put the possible $2 trillion costs of moving to a privatization scheme “off budget” because that’s the only way they can hide the debt-swelling costs of the program.

Both for the Hyman’s of the world who want Social Security more vulnerable to congressional whim and those who want to camouflage the privatization of the system by putting these costs “off budget,” the goal is the same: to gut the system as it is currently practiced. Social Security is one of the most productive and useful governmental programs ever created, keeping countless millions of elderly out of poverty. For right-wing conservatives, however, it’s simply an entitlement, and that means it should be starved of cash until it withers and dies. Don’t be fooled by the rhetoric of “saving” Social Security.

And as long as we’re talking about putting things “on budget” so they can be accounted for accurately, we wonder what Hyman has to say about the
$100 billion “emergency” funding in the last year of the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that the president exempts from his budgets. Shouldn’t such expenses be counted as well? Hyman doesn’t say.

Speaking of Iraq, Hyman bemoans the pork barrel spending that he says has added up to $25 billion in the last year. True, this figure is tiny in comparison with the overall budget. Also true is the fact that governmental
spending has risen under Bush and a Republican Congress, not gone down. But let’s grant that pork should be cut. What about money that just goes missing, however? According to recent audits, around $9 billion dollars, more than a third of the total pork barrel spending Hyman gnashes his teeth about, has simply vanished in Iraq with nothing to show for it.

Perhaps we might start getting our financial house in order by being a bit more honest and careful about how we spend our money in other countries.

And that’s The Counterpoint.


At 10:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hyman and his ilk realize that almost none of his viewers will bother to look up the 'fiscal facts' regarding this administration, and since he and Sinclair allow no rebutal to their lies, the sheeple are just further brainwashed by these neo-fascists.

Thanks for helping to point out the truth Ted, and keep bustin' Hyman.

Mike B. in SC

At 10:08 PM, Blogger alberthaanstra said...

Hi Blogger! Ik ben op zoek naar financieringen Zou Afab echt zo goed zijn als iedereen beweert? Of kan ik beter zoiets als Geldshop proberen?

Groetjes Albert


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