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Jewish World Review May 22, 2000 /17 Iyar, 5760

David Limbaugh

David Limbaugh
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Consumer Reports


Gore's risky,
schemes -- WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT IT, since scaremongering is the most potent arrow in the Democratic quiver, it is nothing short of amazing that Republicans ever succeeded in enacting welfare reform. I'm completely serious.

Everyone knows it took three tries and an impending election to coerce Bill Clinton into finally signing that bill into law. And even then, he promised his outraged dependency constituencies that he would undo the bill just as soon as he could muster the political capital to do it. Now, after the success stories are in, he pretends he authored the bill.

Now something else amazing has happened. George W. Bush has come out with a plan to reform an even bigger entitlement: Social Security. Remember, we are still in the era of Clinton, where polls reign, politics rules over policy, and symbolism prevails over substance. Last weekend's trillion-mom powwow is a good example. The White House gun-control crowd orchestrated a rally designed to pressure Congress into passing more laws in derogation of our Second Amendment rights. But instead of disclosing their involvement, they recruited a political ally who happens to be a mother to front as the organizer of the event. Why a mother? Because children are the White House's favorite, and most often invoked, silent constituency, and no one cares more about children than mothers. So if mothers march for radical gun control, then anyone who opposes them is against children.

Well, on the Social Security issue, "the children" don't work quite as well as silent victims for the Democrats. So, they use one of the next most sympathetic groups, seniors. They'll scare them into thinking their retirement is in jeopardy. By the way, I'm not fabricating this. One Democratic strategist, salivating over Bush's vulnerability on Social Security, said, "We'll beat him to death with it, especially among elderly voters." Al Gore, perhaps the nation's foremost fear-monger, paints the Bush plan as even more apocalyptic. He argues that it will destabilize the entire economy and reduce government resources for other programs, including Medicare.

What I find particularly offensive about these scare tactics, beyond the anxiety they cause, is the utter deceit behind them. Republicans were not planning to end school lunches or reduce Medicare spending as Democrats claimed. They are not trying to expose children to greater danger by opposing draconian regulations on private gun ownership. They are not trying to bankrupt Americans' retirement funds. In every case, the exact opposite is true.

But AlGore, we were only following orders.
Rosie O'Donnell can posture all she wants about saving the children, but do you suppose she's ever fully thought through the consequences of the gun control proposals she supports? What about the millions of instances when guns are used by innocent citizens each year to defend themselves or their property?

Gore can talk until he's blue in the face about Bush's "risky" Social Security scheme, but responsible people in both parties have long admitted that without reform, the Social Security fund has been irreversibly destined for insolvency for some time. The only thing that was uncertain was whether any political leader would ever have the courage to tackle the issue head-on, instead of advocating band-aid solutions that merely put off the inevitable. George W. Bush is exhibiting the raw leadership to confront the core problem rather than whitewashing the symptoms. The only chance of "saving" Social Security is to privatize part or all of it. And that's what Bush plans to do.

Gore's plan to raid the general revenue surplus to subsidize Social Security is the risky and reckless scheme. It does nothing to solve the social security problem itself, relies on surpluses that may or may not exist, and promises to expand government in perpetuity by necessitating even more onerous taxes to prop up the failing retirement system. It is Gore's plan, not Bush's, that will ultimately drain the economy at large.

Maybe Bush and the Republicans ought to start talking about the children. Don't the children have a right to be safe in their own homes from criminal intruders? Don't they have a right to inherit an economic system that is not hopelessly mortgaged to underwrite the many risky Democratic dependency schemes? Don't they have a right to prosper in a society that has not completely enslaved itself to socialism? Huh?

JWR contributor David Limbaugh is an attorney practicing in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and a political analyst and commentator. Send your comments to him by clicking here.



05/17/00: Can Bush risk pro-choice running mate?
05/15/00: Right to privacy, Clinton-style
05/10/00: Patrick Kennedy and his suit-happy fiddlers
05/08/00: Don't shoot Eddie Eagle
05/03/00: Congress caves to Clinton, again?
05/01/00: The resurrection of outrage
04/28/00: A picture of Bill Clinton's America
04/19/00: President Clinton: Teaching children responsibility
04/17/00: Elian, Marx and parental rights
04/12/00: Elian, freedom deserve a hearing
04/10/00:The fraying of America
04/05/00: Noonan: End Clintonism now
04/03/00: Bush: On going for the gold
03/29/00: Phantasma-Gore-ia
03/27/00: Treaties, triggers, tobacco and tyrants
03/22/00: Media to Bush: Go left, young man
03/20/00: Stop the insanity
03/15/00: OK Al Gore: Let's go negative
03/13/00: Deifying of the center
03/08/00: The media, the establishment and the people
03/01/00: McCain's coalition-busting daggers in GOP's heart
02/28/00: Bush's silver lining in McMichigan
02/24/00: A conservative firewall, after all
02/22/00: Bush or four more of Clinton-Gore?
02/16/00: Substance trumps process
02/14/00: The campaign finance reform mirage
02/09/00: President McCain: End of the GOP as we know it?
02/07/00: From New Hampshire to South Carolina
02/02/00: SDI must fly
01/31/00: Veep gores Bradley
01/26/00: The issues gap
01/24/00: GOP: Exit, stage left
01/20/00: Nationalizing congressional elections
01/18/00: Do voters really prefer straight talk?
01/12/00: Media's McCain efforts may backfire
01/10/00: Conservative racism myth
01/05/00: Just one more year of Clintonian politics
01/03/00: McMedia?
12/27/99: Al Gore: Bullish on government
12/22/99: Bradley's full-court press
12/20/99: Bush: Rendering unto Caesar
12/15/99: Beltway media bias
12/13/99: White House ambulance chasing
12/08/99: Clinton's labor pains
12/06/99:The lust for power
12/01/99: In defense of liberty
11/29/99: Are Republicans obsolete?
11/24/99: Say you're sorry, Mr. President
11/22/99: Architects of victory
11/17/99: Trump's tax on freedom
11/15/99: GOP caves again
11/10/99: Triangulation and 'The Third Way'
11/08/99: Sticks and stones
11/03/99: Keyes vs. media lapdogs
11/01/99: Signs of the times
10/27/99: The false charge of isolationism
10/25/99: A matter of freedom
10/20/99: Clinton's mini-meltdown
10/18/99: Senate GOP shows statesmanship
10/13/99: Senate must reject nuclear treaty
10/11/99: Bush bites feeding hand
10/06/99: Jesse accidentally opens door for Pat
10/04/99: Clinton and his media enablers
09/29/99: Reagan: Big-tent conservatism
09/27/99: The Clinton/Gore taint?
09/22/99: Have gun (tragedy), will travel
09/20/99: Hillary's blunders and bloopers
09/15/99: GOP must remain conservative
09/13/99:Time for Bush to take charge, please
09/10/99: Bush's education plan: Dubya confounds again
09/07/99: Pat, savior or spoiler?
09/02/99: Character doesn't matter?
08/30/99: Should we judge?
08/25/99: Dubyah's drug question: Not a hill to die on
08/23/99: Should Dubyah start buying soap ... for all that mud?
08/16/99: 'W' stands for 'winner'
08/11/99: The truth about tax cuts
08/09/99: Hillary: Threading the needle
08/04/99: What would you do?
08/02/99: No appeasement for China
07/30/99: Hate Crimes Bill: Cynical Symbolism
07/26/99: Itís the 'moderates', stupid
07/21/99: JFK Jr. and Diana: the pain of privilege
07/19/99: Smith, Bush and the GOP
07/14/99: GOP must be a party of ideas
07/12/99: Gore's gender gap
07/08/99: Clintonís faustian bargain: our justice
07/06/99: The key to Bush's $36 million
06/30/99: Gore: a soda in every fountain
06/28/99: 'Sacred wall' or religious barrier?
06/23/99: GOP must lead in foreign policy
06/21/99: Crumbs of compassion
06/16/99: Compassionate conservatism: face-lift or body transplant?
06/10/99: Victory in Kosovo? Now What?