Well, Haley Barbour might have bowed out of the GOP presidential primary, but we've still got wingnut Herman Cain in the running, who went on the air with Fox's Shannon Bream and recommended we privatize Social Security like they did in Chile under Pinochet, but don't dare call it privatization.
BREAM: Alright, will part of the tough solutions and will the strong medicine include entitlement reform? And how do you sell that to the American public?
CAIN: We have to go from an entitlement society, to an empowerment society. And what I mean by that, all programs need to be restructured. You can't just continue to raise taxes on these programs and decrease the benefits. And Representative Ryan's proposed budget is a great start in that direction. We can't just continue to do the same things we've done before.
For example, relative to Social Security. I think that we put the idea of personal retirement accounts back on the table and do what Chile did thirty years ago. They don't have the problem we have today. Now it got demagogued last time as privatization. That absolutely is not the case. We need to take that route, restructure Social Security so we can achieve solvency, or the problems we're encountering, the crisis that we now have, they're only going to get worse.
Someone needs to tell this clown that Social Security is solvent. And if he thinks the GOP ought to run on privatizing it, whether he wants to call it that or not, more power to him. That didn't work out so well for George Bush, but apparently he's got a short memory. We can fix any shortfalls with our system by simply raising the cap on payroll taxes, or better yet, lift the cap and make it less regressive while we're at it.
And if he wants us to follow Chile's model, maybe someone could direct him to this article -- Chile's Retirees Find Shortfall in Private Plan.
This guy Cain may not be a serious candidate for president, but he's got every one of the GOP talking points down pat. He sounds like a broken record like the rest of them. Lower taxes on the rich. China is going to eat our lunch, but no mention of our trade inbalances being a problem with them. We need to slash and burn the budget, but don't dare say we're going to do it at the expense of the elderly and the poor. And repeat endlessly that President Obama is not leading and say the words "the American people" as often as humanly possible during an interview.
And of course Megyn Kelly's fill-in Shannon Bream had to get in there that somehow a person who understands how to run a business can take that experience and be capable of governing. I've found that to be generally untrue because for the most part, and if you're a Republican or a Blue Dog Democrat, your idea of governing "like you'd run a business" means seeing how many of our tax dollars you can turn over to one of your campaign donors' profit driven enterprises that has no regard to what those taxpayers are getting in return for their money.
I was listening to Thom Hartmann this week and he was talking to a caller about how the Republicans just love privatizing everything and what that really means for workers in the United States far too often. I don't remember if it was just a friend of Thom's or someone in his family, but he was discussing how they were working for the government and they decided to contract out the work they were doing to a private company and they lost their job. And once that company took over the work the government was doing, his friend got hired by the private contractor that picked up the work to do the exact same job, and for a whole lot less money and with no benefits. The kicker is they weren't saving the government or the taxpayers any money with the cost of their contract. Basically they were just taking the money that used to go to that person's salary and benefits that used to work as a government employee, and funneling it to that company and their stock holders instead.
That's the America these guys have in store for us that want to "run government like a business." That's nothing but code for a race to the bottom on wages, scrap benefits and the social safety nets, kill every union contract you have in place and you workers left to deal with it, pull yourself up by your non-existent boot straps after we ask you to compete with slave wages in China. And in the mean time, oh don't dare to suggest raising taxes on the rich, or that's "class warfare."
Heaven forbid we point out that they really just want nothing but the rich and the poor in America so they don't have to outsource that cheap labor. They'll have it here at home and sadly, we're well on our way there now. I'm not sure what it's going to take to change that, but I hope the public being fed up finally starts getting some response from Washington if enough of us get out there and make our voices heard.
We've got a lot to make up for when wingnuts like this Cain are given national air time and treated as credible by a channel with millions of viewers.