BEN STEIN - BUSH SHILL
Well Ben Stein has done it again. On this morning's installment of CBS Sunday Morning (11/28/04), he stood up for current Bush administration policy advocating the dismantling of the Social Security.
According to Stein (entertainer turned socioeconomic pundit), it's your own fault if you don't have enough to retire in luxuary. If you find yourself without the funds for a beautiful retirement home, a boat on the lake and the cash to travel you must have made serious errors in judgement with your investments and savings. Stein claimed that it was a simple matter to lay out a plan for savings, sock it into your 401k and then stick to it so you ended up with at least seven times what you need to live on each year. Wait a minute. Don't you have to have money to save in order to save it? What about all those people who have a hard enough time making ends meet on a weekly or monthly basis? Those at the lower end of the income scale (unlike Stein, Bush and Cheney and their upper 2 percent cronies) have to use a much larger portion of their income just to survive. There isn't anything left over to spend. And this isn't a matter of giving up their second home in the Caymen Islands or cutting back on vacation travel. This is milk, and bread and rent that they're paying for.
What Stein is doing is advocating investments over the basic savings inherent in the guarantees of Social Security. He uses the hollow argument of "choice," to defend a desire to release more personal funds into investments and away from Social Security. Sure, he and his ilk have the funds and wherewithal to do what they like. Most of the rest of us don't. Social Security gone (the Bush Taliban is working on it now) and the investment class will be sitting pretty while the rest of the country descends into a feudal state of lords and serfs.
What to do?
How about a note to CBS Sunday Morning demanding that their be more balanced, and present a counterpoint to the administration's on-camera editorials.
CBS News Sunday Morning home page