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Raging Moderate

 Frequently Asked Questions about the President's Social Security Reform
By Will Durst


May 18, 2005

Q. So what's going on with that whole privatization of Social Security thing these days?
A. Excuse me, but it's that whole PERSONALIZATION of Social Security thing now.
jpg Will Durst

Q. What's the difference?
A. Nothing really. The second one tested better. Privatize - bad. Personalize- good. Liberate - gooder. Lottery win - goodest.

Q. Why does everyone have big beige banana bugs up their butt over the president's plans to finally fix Social Security?
A. A lot of Baby Boomers think of this fix as the same kind of fix a veterinarian performs on a dog.

Q. What do they think Bush is trying to turn Social Security into?
A. Something not very social and no longer secure.

Q. What about the Wall Street investment dealie part?
A. Dealie part?

Q. You know what I mean.
A. Since the Dow is down about 10 percent for the year, it's been sort of put on the back burner.

Q. How far back?
A. Way back next to the capture of Osama
Q. Wow, that far? When was it exactly the Baby Boomers decided to grow up and get old?
A. Don't know. I guess someone must have convinced them "old is the new black." Of course we are talking about free money here. Which could raise the blood pressure of anybody, much less a grandma wearing a "Whitesnake" t- shirt. You ever mistakenly take some blue-hair's nickel slot seat?

Q. But don't these greedy geezers-to-be agree Social Security is in deep doo-doo and needs to be shored up?
A. Well, yeah, I guess, but you got to remember, Bush's Clear Skies Bill allows for more pollution and his Healthy Forests Initiative encourages logging, so you can understand how folks might tend to worry that the real goal of his Social Security Reform is less old people.

Q. What kind of ideas are being implemented in Bush's recently released reform package?
A. Mostly the plan is to forestall future cuts in benefits by cutting benefits in the future. Democrats call it a benefit cut. Republicans call it a cut in the growth rate of benefits. But I think there are maybe 80 other ways to throw benefit and cuts into the same sentence, so we're not done here. We might even see "bene cutifits," which probably means "above average salami pants" in Italian.

Q. But doesn't the administration maintain these benefit cuts are designed only to affect the wealthy?
A. Well, yeah, but according to the specifics of the plan, "wealthy" is defined as anybody making over 20 grand a year. Which means that a greeter at Wal-Mart or the kid behind the counter asking "you want lids on these?" is a member of the financial elite in Bush's America.

Q. What happens if Social Security is allowed to fail?
A. Then we'll just have to return Bush's sepia-toned vision of an olden-timey America that people lived in before being enveloped into Roosevelt's Social Security straightjacket.

Q. Which is what?
A. Faith-based retirement.

Will Durst may not be old enough to retire but some of his bones are starting to feel like it.

Will Durst is a political comedian who has performed around the world. He is a familiar pundit on television. His two CDs are available at Look for Will's collection of columns "Raging Moderate" in a bookstore near you soon.
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Email Will at

©2005 Will Durst.

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