Friday, June 3, 2005

Hello. I don't understand the concept of a private contractual agreement, and I want to make public policy.

Good old Howard Dean shows his ass in public. Again.

I still maintain the guy is just what the Democratic party needs. Unfortunately for them, he actually shows how remarkably stupid some of their positions are.

In his most recent public display of ignorance, he proclaims:
Dean sought to broaden the debate over Bush's proposal to restructure Social Security to include the issue of private pensions, citing Labor Department statistics estimating that private companies underfunded their pension plans by $450 billion last year.

He suggested that Bush is responsible for the failure of private industry to protect those pensions. "The president wants to take away our Social Security," he said, "and then he's going to take away the private pension plans, too? What does he think ordinary Americans live on after they get to be 65 years old?"

The only solution that Dean suggested is to make pensions portable, saying pension plans "ought not to be controlled by companies, they ought to be controlled by the people who those pensions belong to." Pension portability was not a major issue in the Democrats' 2004 presidential campaign

Certainly underfunding pension plans is a big deal. But it's a big deal in that it violates a contract between the employee (or retired employee) and employer. Further, the notion that the government will make pensions 'portable' will have one very simple, immediate response: Companies will stop offering pensions altogether.

I work for a corporation. I am eligible for a pension if I meet certain requirements with respect to my length of service and age. Simple. If I don't meet those requirements, I get no pension. I also know that the pension is a promise of future payments, and if the company were to go out of business, I'm probably not going to get my pension (one more way to motivate me to keep the company in business, eh?)

I'm not sure exactly how the President is trying to take away people's pensions, and I wish he would take away my social security. When I'm over 65, I'll determine what I live on, just like I do now. I don't want the government to do that for me.

In the same speech, we get this gem:
Speaking about election reform, he said it is unconscionable for voters to have to stand in lengthy lines at polling places given the demands of work and family. "Republicans," he said, "I guess can do that because a lot of them have never made an honest living in their lives."

I'm not really sure how Republicans are responsible for the long lines - I live in a hightly Democratic area, and I had to wait in line for over an hour in the last election. I don't complain because in many places, you get shot at while you are waiting to vote. But the honest living line is rich. I suppose Mr Dean never met Ted Kennedy.

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