Monday, March 7

Hail To The Chief (If You Don't I'll Have To Kill You)

I Am The Chief, So You Better Watch Your Step, You Bastards

Obviously impressed with this blog, President Bush swung by my hometown on Friday. Okay, that's a lie. He was in town to talk about Social Security. The South Bend/Notre Dame area always provides a receptive audience; he's been here six times, of which I've been present for two.

I was not available on Friday, and it scarcely mattered since I really don't care about Social Security. The way I see it, when I reach retirement age the system will either be long since broke or fixed to some degree. Either way I have my own plans for retirement, mostly entailing cashing my 401(k), driving to the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and betting my nest egg on Red. No, Black. Ahh, the choices.

At any rate, it's a safer bet than the solvency of Social Security if Democrats and their followers in the left blogosphere have their way. After months of insisting there was a looming disaster in Social Security during the 2000 presidential election, they're now arguing that There Is No Crisis. Conveniently, when the solution seemed to be stashing taxpayer money in government "lockboxes" instead of returning it through tax breaks, it was panic time; now that the proposal on the table involves privatization in individual safe-growth "lockboxes," they've suddenly located the chill pill in their prescription drug plan. But I'm sure it's just a coincidence.

I shouldn't be surprised by them anymore, but the Democrats' strategy here just astounds me. Well, not as a political maneuver: pandering to their base just might work in this case; but it really is an affront to any sense of logic and rationality. We can argue about whether the system will break down in 2019 or 2042 or the year after the Cubs win the World Series until it actually does go broke, but the fact that the pay-now-receive-later system is fundamentally flawed is not in doubt. When sixteen people paid for the benefits of one, it made more sense. As our population ages, it strains credulity more by the year.

Nobody would voluntarily sign up for a system like this, at least not now that the integrity of it is questionable. I wouldn't volunteer to pay for half or a third of somebody's steak dinner this month and hope that the deal works long enough that two or three people come around to pay for mine next month. At least with ordinary Ponzi schemes, like Amway, I can make the system work if I recruit enough people to serve in my pyramid. But the AARP and other groups representing seniors — whose benefits we'll guarantee in the short term no matter the cost even if the system were totally privatized — wish for this forced system to remain basically inviolable so that everyone younger than them risks the Roulette Wheel Of Fate.

The worst thing about the Democrats' position is that President Bush offered them the chance to take the lead on reform. It's no accident that all four of the plan ideas he mentioned in his most recent State Of The Union were proposed by Democrats: Tim Penny, Bill Clinton, John Breaux, and Daniel Patrick Moynihan. If they chose to, the Democrats could have made proposals, counterproposals, and compromises and then taken credit for whatever actions short of privatization actually became law, just as they did on prescription drugs and Medicare.

But that would require that they have good ideas. So we have them pushing the senior citizens out to protest the incremental and voluntary diversion of one-twenty-fifth of payroll taxes on the grounds that it will jeapordize benefits they'll get no matter what. We have President Bush being forced to make the case for something that should be a no-brainer. And we have me, who ordinarily would be thrilled with a Presidential visit but ignored it because the entire bickering irritates me.

So if you're in Vegas sometime around July 2045, look for me. I'll either be the geezer crying in the street or the one on his way to the Mustang Ranch with a pocketful of Viagra paid for by your kids and grandkids.

P.S. the title is a joke from the Lemmon-Garner flick My Fellow Americans. If you thought it was a commentary on how the Chimpy McBushitler regime handles dissidents, well, not even Social Security will save you.


Location: Mishawaka, Indiana, United States

I graduated with an English degree from the University Of Notre Dame in 2001, and in 2008 I have a day job that has nothing to do with my degree but gets the bills paid in a semi-regular fashion. (I have running water five days a week!) The idea is that once I get turned around on my bills, I go to grad school. I also have an idea for cold fusion. Anyone's guess which will be feasible first. In non-work mode, I'm usually reading columns by famous and well-read thinkers, blogs by critically praised writers, or sometimes blogs by overzealous cranks who make me laugh. I yearn to be all three at once; until then I'll settle for being the third. I also have an undying love for the Chicago Cubs and Notre Dame football. Praise them and I'll buy you a beer; curse them and I'll dump it over your head. If that's not enough, I'm becoming quite the fan of no-limit Texas Hold'em. My games have one of two results: I either win all the money or whine because I didn't win all the money.

marchandchronicles -at-

Fair warning: I reserve the right to post any and all criticisms and flames, in their entirety. Seriously. Just ask this guy.

July 2006
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January | February | March | April
May | June | July | August
September | October | November | December

Essays on whatever I feel like writing about.

August 8, 2005: High Gas Prices
August 1, 2005: Judge Roberts' Hearings
June 20, 2005: Senator Durbin's Comments
May 23, 2005: Newsweek & Pepsi
May 2, 2005: Al Gore's MoveOn Speech
April 25, 2005: Lebanon
April 18, 2005: The Nuclear Option
April 11, 2005: Pope John Paul II
March 5, 2005: The Domino Effect
January 31, 2005: Iraqi Elections
January 24, 2005: Bush's Inaugural
January 17, 2005: Roemer, Dean & The DNC

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Contributor to Steal The Blinds


marchand chronicles has such massive readership and influence that it makes me weep.
—Glenn Reynolds


Damn right.


What's Your Line?


I absolutely love the name of your site.

Scott "Big Trunk" Johnson, Power Line
Just the name? Not the content? . . . I'll take it.

You have something in common with Dave Barry, Hemingway, and Mark Steyn: I'm not linking to them, either.


That's good stuff there Mark.

Dean Barnett, Soxblog
Psst, it's "Mike."

(click to buy)

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All text and original images © MMVI by Mike Marchand/Marchand Chronicles.

Okay, so I don't really have a copyright. But I still don't want you ripping me off. Reprint it all over the Internet if you like, but give me proper credit and link back to me. Besides, if you're going to plagiarize, steal from someone with some talent.

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