The Corner

Crisis

Michael Medved was interviewed on Fox this morning. When he said that a characteristic of liberals is to manufacture crises so they can offer their preferred (big government) solutions, I couldn’t help but guffaw. He might be right as a general matter, but in this season of the Social Security debate it was an odd point to make. It is now clearer than ever that Bush’s crisis gambit on Social Security has failed. First, no one believes it because 2018 and 2042, the two most frequently invoked crisis-dates, seem so far away. Two, the crisis has nothing directly to do with his top-most policy priority, creating personal accounts (they won’t have much of an effect on the financing of the program one way or another over the long run). Three, it has run counter to an important part of his message–namely, that the trust fund as popularly conceived isn’t there. But Bush has reinforced the idea that the trust fund actually means something because his crisis-dates all have to do with the trust fund being tapped and then running out. So it’s been bad all around. Best to leave, per Medved, the crisis-mongering to the other side.

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