|Tonight's State of the Union address was instructional. I learned how to snare a rabbit.
First you throw out a little bait. For example, if your prey is known to hold certain proclivities that are obvious and transparent, you want to use that as an advantage. It makes your fare more predictable, and hence, easier to snare.
So, throw them a little bait. Such as:
“The system (Social Security), however, on its current path, is headed toward bankruptcy. And so we must join together to strengthen and save Social Security. “
Ah yes, the “rabbit” responds just like you expected. The nose rises up, the ears shoot back, and a dramatic sense of agitation is portrayed. It’s not just body language. No, this “rabbit” verbally reacts with overt disdain. This is working better than expected.
We got’em now. They’ll never see it coming. They’re way too upset and focused on the bait. By God that rabbit looks like it wants to rip the cover off that bait. It’s instinctual. The rabbit is getting wound up, and any second now it’s going to pounce.
But wait. What’s all this then? The bait is…is…This can’t be! The damn bait is another damn rabbit.
“Some have suggested limiting benefits for wealthy retirees. Former Congressman Tim Penny has raised the possibility of indexing benefits to prices rather than wages.
During the 1990s, my predecessor, President Clinton, spoke of increasing the retirement age. Former Senator John Breaux suggested discouraging early collection of Social Security benefits. The late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan recommended changing the way benefits are calculated.
All these ideas are on the table. I know that none of these reforms would be easy. But we have to move ahead with courage and honesty, because our children's retirement security is more important than partisan politics. I will work with members of Congress to find the most effective combination of reforms.
I will listen to anyone who has a good idea to offer. We must, however, be guided by some basic principles. We must make Social Security permanently sound, not leave that task for another day. We must not jeopardize our economic strength by increasing payroll taxes.”
Tim Penny, Bill Clinton, John Breaux, and Patrick Moynihan are/were all Democrats. President Bush took the wind out of the sails of the most charged issue within his State of the Union Address by throwing the Democrats a “lettuce hand grenade.” Each of these politicians dwell on the other side of the aisle. Each of these politicians has suggested the very same warnings of the future of Social Security that President Bush made when he stated that SS is “headed towards bankruptcy.” This was a buzz word for the Democratic Party to make some noise of negativity…in the middle of a State of the Union address.
It took ten paragraphs and a tennis match of partisan displays of being before President Bush showed the hypocrisy of those Democrats determined to take their political leanings to a hallowed venue. When he used Democrats (alive and dead, respected and partisan in their own right) as his examples…his only examples of varying ideas on a problem that requires attention, he snared his rabbit.
They sat patiently, and patently through the remainder of the speech wishing they had stayed buried in their nice warm hole.
And it wasn’t over yet. Once you have snared your rabbit, there is the unpleasant task of skinning the critter. President Bush had a very sharp and dutiful knife for just such an occasion. Want to see it?
"Personal retirement accounts should be familiar to federal employees, because you already have something similar, called the Thrift Savings Plan, which lets workers deposit a portion of their paychecks into any of five different broadly based investment funds.
It is time to extend the same security, and choice, and ownership to young Americans. Our second great responsibility to our children and grandchildren is to honor and to pass along the values that sustain a free society. So many of my generation, after a long journey, have come home to family and faith, and are determined to bring up responsible, moral children. Government is not the source of these values, but government should never undermine them."
Ladies and gentlemen, enjoy your Hasenpfeffer. It was caught, prepared, and served by a master this evening. Don’t forget to leave room for dessert. There’s plenty.