By Matt Taibbi
“David Brooks, the [gratuitous insult deleted], wrote this this morning entitled “Mitt Romney, the Serious One.” In it, he explained how Romney’s recent decision to unveil a plan for reforming the entitlement system “demonstrates his awareness of the issues that need to define the 2012 presidential election.”
Romney grasped the toughest issue – how to reform entitlements to avoid a fiscal catastrophe – and he sketched out a sophisticated way to address it.
“So we had a giant financial crash in 2008 that necessitated a bailout costing a minimum of nearly $5 trillion and perhaps ultimately costing $10 trillion more, we have foreclosure crisis with more than million people a year losing their homes, and we have a burgeoning European debt disaster that threatens to devastate the global financial system – and the chief issue facing the country, according to Brooks and the Times, is reforming the entitlement system?
“The column goes on to throw bouquets on Romney’s plan to semi-privatize Medicare and Social Security. Romney’s ideas are not as draconian as Paul Ryan’s, but they do pave the way for Wall Street’s ultimate goal – full privatization of Social Security and Medicare.
“Think about what such reforms might mean. Your typical Medicare/Social Security recipient might already have been ripped off three different ways in this era.
“He might have been sold a crappy mortgage or a refi by a Countrywide-type firm (which often targeted the elderly). He might then also have unwittingly become an investor in such mortgages and seen the value of his retirement holdings devastated (many of the banks sold their crappy mortgage-backed securities to state pension funds).
“Lastly, if he paid taxes, he saw part of his tax money go to pay off the bets the banks made against these same mortgages.
“So now that Wall Street has ripped off this segment of society three times, it makes all the sense in the world that Mitt Romney – a former Wall Street superstar who was a chief architect of the modern executive-compensation-driven corporation – is coming back and telling us that we need to cut their Medicare and Social Security benefits in order to defray the cost of the previous three scams.”
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