Monday, March 14, 2005

Rush Speechless

I have listened to Rush Limbaugh, on and off, since the early 90s when he had his own syndicated tv show. For the first time ever, I heard nothing coming out of his mouth. Was he talking to Al Franken? No. Randi Rhodes? No. Who was it then? It was a man, age 54, who was talking about Social Security. To give you a little synopsis, the guy is a Republican. He began by talking about how he has been a Republican for a long time but is reconsidering his party affiliation because of the proposed changes to Social Security. His reasoning was he's worked since 16 and has put in nearly 40 years into the system. Also, he's been banking on these social security benefits for almost as long and to change it when he only has 10+ years left of working life remaining is not only unfair, but degrading to the work he's done. Rush at first tried to reason with the guy and say, "you'll be 55 when it's finally passed so it won't affect you." The guy responded by saying, "but what about people who are 51, 52, 53?? They don't have enough time to make up what they will lose by the changes coming to Social Security." Silence. And in that moment, Rush was speechless. Sure it was about 5 seconds, but I could hear his mind trying to spin what this guy just said and he couldn't do it. Rush Limbaugh, Republican of Republicans, couldn't spin the Bush Social Security reform to an average american directly impacted by the legislation. That got me scared and here's why: 1. As a person still in my twenties, I've never counted on nor will I count on Social Security. I'm very willing to change Social Security to make it less of a burden on the government and better for average americans in general. However, my historical memory is limited by my youthful age and thus I acquiesce to this older gentlemen for how this will affect average america. 2. There's no defense for what this man is talking about! If Rush can't come up with something better than 'you'll be 55 next year' then there is no honest reply to what this man and millions of americans are facing. 3. Social Security is going to be difficult to change. Shocking, eh? Tough choices will need to be made, but blanket cut-offs are not going to be the answer. Some form of choice would be preferable. For instance, if you're over 55 Social security stays the same. If you are between 45-54 you can elect to remain in the current system or take your current system's balance and transfer that into a private account. Make similar adjustments for younger people. Limbaugh had nothing for this guy. No answers. No reassurance. And very little sympathy. President Bush, is this the type of reform you are offering? Note: The preceding was just a rant. Social Security needs reform, compassionate reform, that does not place undue burdens on average Americans.


Anonymous HutSutRaw said...

I think it's funny that Rush was actually speechlees! I never thought that would happen. But, unfortunately there are no easy answers to this problem. I just hope that something gets done and heads us in the right direction. I agree w/ you that SS needs reform. (Increasing taxes is not the answer, it is a temporary solution that worsens in the future.)

3/18/2005 12:13:00 PM  

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