Wednesday, February 01, 2006
Last night I listened to AM 1500 (Minneapolis/St. Paul) to catch President Bush's State of the Union address while driving home from racquetball then watched the rest of the speech on TV by channel surfing to see the different styles of news coverage. I must say that having FOX News' news bar providing the statistic that President Bush's speech was "interrupted 58 times by applause...." is a factoid (a reference to my buddy Tom A.'s lingo) that I do not need. Frankly, the standing ovations are like the halftime show at the Super Bowl -- not vital to the game and wholly forgettable unless it involves Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake bringing pseudo-rape into our homes :( Reminder to the general public -- the Super Bowl includes an American football game but more on that in my February 5th posting.
Yes I find the "applause episodes" most annoying but it is encouraging to see Members of Congress jump to their feet - if only they would exhibit such enthusiasm for reducing our tax burdens. However, since I am not one to complain ALL the time :) let me highlight one applause episode that really caught my attention. President Bush stated that "I offered a plan to save Social Security and the Congress failed to act on it........." (paraphrasing) to which a sub-section of the assembled House and Senate leaped to their feet in enthusiastic response. Based on my quick review of the Members participating in this standing ovation were the usual suspects when it comes to advocating the "big government knows best, it just needs more 'investment' (tax money) status quo model" such as keeping the current Social Security model intact.
In case you have been living in a cave for the last 20 or 30 years let me offer this news flash -- the Social Security system is a train wreck waiting to happen because it has become (originally designed in 1935 as?? http://www.ssa.gov/history/briefhistory3.html) a Ponzi Scheme. So what is a Ponzi Scheme beyond being an illegal pyramid scheme designed to rob people? Let me offer a definition from none other than the US Federal Government via its Securities and Exchange Commission:
Ponzi schemes are a type of illegal pyramid scheme named for Charles Ponzi, who duped thousands of New England residents into investing in a postage stamp speculation scheme back in the 1920s.
So creating a Ponzi Scheme on Wall Street is clearly illegal but if you create/perpetuate a scheme we call the Social Security system (involuntary taxation) then it is called "public service."
The job of Congress is simple -- leave our money in our pockets.