Democrats & Liberals Archives

Republican Math

Republicans are great at changing the language. For example, liberals are for special interests like labor and minorities while conservatives are for public interests like Halliburton and ExxonMobil. Now that they have become so good at it they are venturing into math. They propose to subtract from the Social Security surplus to fund private accounts in order to boost the solvency of Social Security. In the new Republican math 1 - 1 = 2.

Representative Jim DeMint came up with the brilliant idea. Now 4 Republican members of the Ways and Means Committee, Jim McCrery, Sam Johnson, Paul Ryan and E. Clay Shaw Jr joined the chorus. Look at the impeccable logic they used:

  • Our problem - The Social Security surplus will disappear in the future.
  • Expectation - We may not have enough money to make all Social Security payments
  • Our solution - Remove the surplus and place the money in private accounts
  • Result - Social Security surplus will disappear earlier
  • However - We will have private accounts
1 - 1 = 2

What is the purpose of the Republican brouhaha on Social Security that has been going on ever since Bush was reelected for a second term? Fixing Social Security? Or introducing private accounts?

The more Bush pushes for private accounts the more citizens realize that he is not interested in fixing Social Security, that all he wants to do is transform the Social Security system into private investment portfolios. Bush wants to kill Social Security. As Democratic Representative Earl Pomery put it:

"This shows that Republicans want privatizing at all costs."

Republicans do not care about math. If regular math does not work, adopt a new math more in keeping with Republican principles.

Republicans believe that each individual should take care of himself. This is why they are against labor unions. This is why they are against a minimum wage. This is why they are in favor of temporary and part-time help. This is why Republican businesspeople are cutting back on medical benefits and pension benefits. This is why outsourcing is OK with them. This is why they are against Social Security.

Conservative Republicans have succeeded in increasing the burden of risks placed on workers. This was done with remarkable ease. But now that Republicans want to take away the last vestige of a safety net, Social Security, the public is rebelling.

Finally, the public that has bought so much of the phony Republican language changes, is not buying Republican math. The public knows that 1 - 1 = 0. Zero, and often less than zero, is what the public is getting from Republicans.

Posted by Paul Siegel at June 23, 2005 5:52 PM