It All Adds Up, But Who’s Counting?

As the debate over the future of Social Security finally hits Capitol Hill, John Hinderaker at Power Line accuses the Democrats of “demagoguery at its worst”:

Federal employees already have a private contribution plan. No member of Congress relies on Social Security for his or her retirement. I doubt whether any Democratic member of Congress really believes that Social Security reform would be a bad thing. But naked politics rules, and the Democrats are once again betting that the ill-informed will be a majority on this issue.

Children, writes Hinderaker, “would be better off saving than hoping to someday receive government checks. But the Social Security program makes it impossible for many millions of Americans to save, by sucking up the 15 percent of their incomes that otherwise could be available for saving.”

To which, TBogg, sounding a lot like our own TLang, dons his fact-checking hat, and goes to town on John: “15 percent? Really?”

Notes TBogg, “You pay 6.2 percent. Your employer pays 6.2 percent.”

Now I’m sure John believes that your employer, if not compelled to pay that additional 6.2 percent to the government, would be more than happy to fork it over to you in your paycheck. And he is entitled to believe that just like he believes that people don’t laugh at him behind his back, but even if your employer did, well, let’s break out the calculator … hmmmmm … 6.2 + 6.2 … carry the one … hmmm. We come out with 12.4 or, as John might put it, eleventy-fourteenish. Which, if I remember my math, isn’t exactly 15 percent, unless you use that new math which eliminated 13 and 14 just to speed things along.

Either way, we hope that Mr. Hinderaker’s clients are checking his billings because he’s taken ‘rounding up’ to a whole new level.

Chris Mooney thinks the Washington Post buried a good story on the politics of obesity. Reporters Caroline E. Mayer and Amy Joyce profile the Center for Consumer Freedom, “dedicated to protecting consumer choices and promoting common sense.” The Center recently has run full-page newspaper ads warning readers that they have “been force-fed a steady diet of obesity myths by the ‘food police,’ trial lawyers, and even our own government,” according to the Post.

Writes Mooney:

A food-industry sponsored nonprofit, run by a lobbyist, going around attacking those concerned about obesity. I know, I know, this is how the game is played in Washington. But one reason it’s played in this way is that journalists rarely, if ever, make a big deal out of what’s going on right under their noses.

He adds: “What the heck is the E section? This is page A01 stuff.”

And, if you haven’t already pigged out on the blogger/MSM food fight, Juan Cole weighs in with another meaty entree.

Frankly, we kind of like the idea of calling blogs a “distributed information system” simply because the acronym is so perfect.

Meantime, Max at MaxSpeak thinks he’s found the dumbest use of taxpayer dollars yet.

Susan Q. Stranahan

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Susan Q. Stranahan wrote for CJR.