"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please." (Mark Twain)

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Can Someone Please Tell Me What "Directionally Consistent" Means? 

So, after weeks of slogging around the country promoting his secret plan to replace Social Security with private investment accounts (and a free pony), and complaining that the obstructionist Democrats had failed to propose a specific alternative to his own legislative vaporware (note to Chimpy - the Democrats do have an alternative to your non-plan; it's called "Social Security"), Dubya finally got down to brass tacks in his rare-as-a-hen's-tooth presser last week and floated a relatively concrete scheme: The so-called "Pozen model" of progressive indexing.

Turns out, that was just a bob and weave. From Carpetbagger Report, via Brad DeLong:
White House Chief of Staff Andy Card said yesterday that the Pozen model, touted by the president on national television just a few days ago, isn't the president's plan. When told that the nonpartisan chief Social Security actuary analyzed the proposal laid out by the president and found sweeping cuts to everyone who makes more than $25,000 annually, Card said:

Now, the plan that you put on the table is really not necessarily the president's plan; it's directionally consistent with the president's plan. And we'd like to see Congress start to work taking a look at the plan proposed by Mr. Pozen, for example, where the statistics that you just cited come from, and see if they might make for a better system.

I don't think Card was trying to distance the White House from the Pozen policy so much as distance the president from the idea of having a concrete plan for Social Security. The Pozen plan is "directionally consisten" with what the president wants, but it's not the same thing. What is the White House plan? No one knows. It doesn't appear to exist.

But that won't stop anyone in the Press Whore Corps from ragging on the Democrats for their failure to propose an alternative, now will it?




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