10 December 2009

It's Back! Social Security Privatization to Seep Into Health Care Debate!

So you thought the current recession, banking, automotive-industry, housing, credit-industry, and Wall Street investment firm debacle along with the slow, lingering, death throes of newspapers, were enough to forever dry up the notion of Social Security Privatization. Right? And if not forever, at least for one generation. I know I did, and boy was I ever wrong!

The Whack-A-Mole "Friedmaniacs" are already popping their beady-eyed, nose-twitching little faces up and into the health care reform debate with an insidious ploy to rein in budget deficits through a committee to study entitlements, whose formation would be attached to a final health care reform bill. Just a rhetorical aside here, Why are there never committees to study tax dollars pissed away on wars, the defense industry, congressional perquisites and earmarks?

New Hampshire Republican, Judd Gregg, (a long-time proponent of Social Security privatization) said in October, ...the Democrat's efforts to extend coverage to millions of uninsured Americans "creates a brand-new entitlement without at the same time controlling the cost and expenditures of existing entitlements", such as Medicare, Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program. We should have been listening, because that sentiment has found its way into the health care reform debate and threatens to find "bipartisan support". Dubious bipartisanship at best, but enough to earn the label.

Here is the form that it is taking.

Gregg is joined by infamous, anti-public option, Blue Dog Democrat, Kent Conrad of North Dakota in proposing an attachment, to health care reform legislation, which would create a committee to study entitlements, which actually translates to searching for ways to cut entitlements, including Social Security. Both are on record as supporting some form of Social Security Privatization. If these two are not enough to send a chill from your butt to the base of your skull consider some of the others joining in this infamous venture: Even Bayh, Diane Feinstein, Joe Lieberman and Mark Warner.

Now that I've given you a chill, let me suggest a scenario which should give you a permanent hand tremor and nervous twitch of the mouth: President Obama, in all likelihood, cut a deal with Conrad to allow him "to tinker with" Social Security in return for Conrad's ceasing opposing some form of public option. That's the word around Washington...we'll see how long it takes to become an open issue!

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