Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Plumbing the Depths of Social Security Reform

A new AARP ad against President Bush's private Social Security accounts show a house flattened to fix the kitchen sink. The track for the spot reads:

Plumber: Yep, looks like the drain is clogged. Only one way to fix it. We’re going to have to tear down the entire house.
Woman: What?!!!
Plumber: Go ahead, guys!
On Screen: Demolition crew wrecks house with sledgehammer, jackhammer, backhoe, wrecking ball.
Announcer: If you had a problem with the sink, you wouldn’t tear down the entire house. So why dismantle Social Security when it can be fixed with just a few moderate changes? Reform is necessary, but diverting money into private accounts is just too drastic, could add up to two trillion dollars in more debt and lead to huge benefit cuts.For more visit Paid for by the AARP. says, "The ad is intended to be humorous but presents a distorted picture. It both understates Social Security's financial problems and misrepresents the effect that individual accounts would have."

Meanwhile, the pro-Bush Progress for America is running an ad that criticizes "national Democrats" for not coming up with a Social Security plan of their own.

Announcer:If an economist saw this graph, they’d say you were in serious trouble. Well, you are. Because this sea of red ink is Social Security, your Social Security. If we don’t fix it, Social Security will start hemorrhaging money and hit bankruptcy, sooner than you think. President Bush wants to rescue Social Security. National Democrats have a simple plan: do nothing, but oppose President Bush. Urge your Members of Congress to show courage and help President Bush save Social Security now.

But also points out that while Democrats have not endorsed any specific plan -- neither has President Bush. (

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