Saturday, April 09, 2005

The real deal: the grandest theft ever perpetrated

Let me get this straight: President Bush says the IOU’s that continue to be paid for with my Social Security payroll withholding funds are entirely worthless, just a pile of paper. And yet, the payroll withholding continues along as if nothing has changed. In a civilized society, this would be called by its real names: intentional fraud and outright theft.

He cannot have it both ways. If the “assets” that are being purchased by currently-collected Social Security (that’s in excess of current payments to beneficiaries) are indeed as worthless as our President claims, then he is participating in a theft of the public payroll that is unprecedented in its size. If the withholding is not being used for its intended purpose, that is out-and-out fraud, and the perpetrators should be brought up on charges.

Adding insult to injury, it is clear that the extra funds generated by Social Security withholding, a regressive tax that places a hugely unequal burden on those earning less than $90,000, have been used to fund Bush’s tax cuts that are vastly skewed to favor the already-wealthy, in spite of the documented explosion in income inequality in this country. A reasonable person can only conclude that the intent is to return to the age of the oligarchy, when servants were cheap.

It is one thing to renege on promises made in the past; it is quite another to deliberately steal hard-earned money from millions of people, and if there is never any intent to repay what one borrows, it ceases to be borrowing and is instead just massive and unjustifiable larceny. We are witnessing, as victims, the greatest con game that has ever been run, and the lies just keep on coming. And they are demonstrable lies, since clearly, continuing to take the money for a stated purpose, when that purpose has been disavowed, cannot possibly be truthful, as the stated purpose and the stated intent are in direct opposition. Surely this qualifies as at least a “misdemeanor,” as in “high crimes and misdemeanors”!

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“Shameless Photo-Op,” New York Times Editorial, April 7, 2005.

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