January 23, 2005

Semantics of Social Security

Two semi-snarky, semi-serious comments on this Mike Allen piece about the semantics of Social Security. First, we have conservatives trying to pretend that they don't really want to "privatize" Social Security:
"Semantics are very important," House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas (R-Calif.)said last week when a reporter asked about "private" accounts. "They're personal accounts, not private accounts. No one is advocating privatizing Social Security."
Um. So they're private accounts that can be raided by the government? No, really, in what sense aren't these accounts private? Who else has access to them? Are they subject to heavy oversight? Hm.

Oh, and then we get this part:
Democrats have their own linguistic problem: They want to banish the term "crisis." Democratic Party leaders are urging members to discuss future Social Security shortfalls as a "challenge" rather than a crisis, and assert that Bush is trying to manufacture a crisis to justify making changes that many Democrats say are unnecessary.
Friends, I'm sorry, but no. The word "challenge" sounds ridiculous. Reminds me of the old joke about p.c. nuts trying to use the term "vertically challenged" to refer to short people. Hey, why don't we just mock the term "crisis"? As in: "There goes the president with his 'crisis' talk again!" Or something about Chicken Little Republicans. Just please remember, the boy who cried wolf got eaten because everyone laughed at him. Just saying...
-- Brad Plumer 3:35 AM || ||