Protests: 2008 VS 2005

[Note: Sorry, the title should read "2009 VS 2005", but I can't change it without breaking links]

Paul Krugman:

A number of people in the news analysis business seem to be equating the role of liberal activists in making trouble for Republicans back in 2005, during the debate over Social Security privatization, with that of conservative activists in making trouble for Democrats over health care reform. [...] Seriously, I’ve been searching through news reports on the Social Security town halls, and I can’t find any examples of the kind of behavior we’re seeing now. Yes, there were noisy demonstrations — but they were outside the events. That was even true during the first month or two, when Republicans actually tried having open town halls. Congressmen were very upset by the reception they received, but not, at least according to any of the report I can find, because opponents were disruptive — crowds booed lines they didn’t like, but that was about it. [...]

So please, no false equivalences. The campaign against Social Security privatization was energetic and no doubt rude, but did not involve intimidation and disruption.


  • NW Progressive Institute, March 2005: "a boisterous crowd which frequently interrupted the discussion with shouts and hard nosed questions. ... Democrats in the audience who were interrupting the panel.... the crowd erupted in anger... Democrats in the audience started shouting him down again."

  • Savannah Morning News, March 2005: "By now, Jack Kingston is used to shouted questions, interruptions and boos. Republican congressmen expect such responses these days when they meet with constituents about President Bush's proposal to overhaul Social Security."

  • USA Today, March 2005: "Shaken by raucous protests at open "town hall"-style meetings last month ... Santorum was among dozens of members of Congress who ran gantlets of demonstrators and shouted over hecklers at Social Security events last month. Many who showed up to protest were alerted by e-mails and bused in by anti-Bush organizations such as and USAction, a liberal advocacy group. They came with prepared questions and instructions on how to confront lawmakers."


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You're going to have to hold Paul's hand

It's dangerous for Paul to walk across to the other side of 8th street all by himself.

If it wasn't in the NY Times, it didn't happen.

Paul Klugman speaks like he's the North Office of the WH...

What should one expect of a liberal writer, celebrated and honored for being a champion of all things liberal, who evinces questionable judgment and bias-in-the-extreme? 

Honesty?  Truthfulness?  Candor?  Objective reporting?

I think the uncivil conduct shown at some Democrat officials' townhall meetings is untoward a constructive end --but it's no different than the orchestrated farLeft efforts to undercut the War on Terror, tar Geo Bush and Dick Cheney, claim the War in Iraq was all about oil and helping Geo Bush's buddies in Texas or Cheney's pals at Halliburton or BlackWater, and then build enough anger toward GOPers so the Dems could wash into office on a wave of voter discontent.

Maybe the SocSec "scare" campaign of the farLeft and Dems isn't the best analogy to what's now happening to the Dems and Obama and the farLeft.

The Tea Parties began as a way of tapping into a small piece of that anger.  The TownHallers are now building on that sense of outrage because, surprise surprise, the Health Care bill led by the Dems is full of things which anyone with a brain can take serious exception to and voice outrage. 

For instance, the whole notion of limiting donor organ use to younger patients and letting the older patients use alternative, less efficacious treatments ought to anger anyone with a brain... and the Obama people are walking right into that kind of a characterization of THEIR health care reform initiative because that is a realistic extension of policies earlier advocated by Obama Administration officials.

Maybe the SocSec "scare" campaign by the Dems and MoveOn and MichealMoore and others on the farLeft against GOPers isn't the best analogy... but in politics, as the Dems have shown us over an over, truth isn't really necessary to win an argument or sway opinions or move the polls.

All it takes is a plausible argument and a little passion or anger.

Kind of like all those highly principled folks we saw driving around for 4 yrs with the "End this endless war" bumper stickers... principled, peace loving, anti-military folks just exercising their 1st A rights we were told by the NYTimes... and now that Obama is in, the stickers are gone.  Why?  The war is still raging... it's far worse in Afghanistan than it was when those stickers hit the bumpers... troops are still in Iraq.  I wonder if those principled folks were really just Dems and farLeft activists trying to build up some anger and antipathy toward Bush and using any issue that was plausible?

There's the analogy.  Too bad the Dems and farLeft are now learning that it's far easier to sit on the outside, toss around a few rocks, scream and complain at will THAN IT IS TO GOVERN.

Nice observation, though, Jon.  Thanks.


Government's attacks on protesters

“First, they ignore you, then they make fun of you, then they attack you, then you win.”


Krugman like Gore is proof Nobel prizes are political

"Stick it to Bush"

That was the only reason these two "towering intellects" were chosen.

Not Sure of Your Point

That you are better at Google than Krugman.

Or ginned-up corporate-special interest mob behavior is acceptable in order to further one's goal.

But I believe President Bush's Social Security reform failed because it was a dumb idea and a Wall Street give away. Can you imagine if he succeeded and the resulting trillions of dollars lost in Social Security and the position millions would have been. Heck, millions have already had to change their retirement plan because of the damage done by Republican economic theory.

re: Not Sure of Your Point

Nobody near retirement would have lost a dime in this market drop. 

re: Not sure...


Jon's right, the closer to retirement you are, the less you are invested into stocks. You trade risk for stability that one finds in bonds and other less risky investments. It is illegal for a retirement plan to use your retirement money for anything else. It has to be in your name and in a separate account from everyone else. This is not how Social Security works. Social Security is not bound be the SEC laws that were created to protect you. Your Social Security dollars are not in a separate account and are being used to fund many other projects, which is against the law. If you knew anything about investing, then you would want your social security money privatized.


Retirees' Greed

Smart investors should have less invested in stocks when they are close to retirement. However, as proven by the worst recession since the Great Depression, that's not how millions of investors behaved. Conservative reform would lose the 'Security' in Social Security.

Reagan and O'Neal fixed Social Security for nearly 30 years without resorting to privatization. I don't see why more tweaking would not lead to another 30 years of solvency.

Just a few months ago

March, 2009

Promises of unrealistic returns and unsuitable investment strategies ultimately will cost Morgan Stanley $7.2 million. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) announced the multimillion-dollar decision on March 25,when it ruled in favor of 90 Rochester, New York-area retirees from Eastman Kodak and Xerox Corp. who said the brokerage firm had encouraged them to take early retirement and open accounts that ultimately wiped out much of their life savings.

Why did they do it? Becasue it generated fees - they paid themselves over $15 million in fees to mishandle these accounts.

I like the idea of private individual savings accounts. I intensely dislike the current financial system. Reform it - root and branch - before going forward with anything else.

Wishful thinking

What alternate reality is Jon Henke living in?

Where do you get the idea nobody near retirement lost a dime? The biggest investors in the phony paper Wall Street was peddling were pension funds. They got their savings destroyed by the usual phony investments Wall Street hypes.


Alternate reality? Is that because the Obama reality sucks?

I think skate/skayne is just taking talking points from the DailyKos and retyping them here... because the biggest one to bilk investors to date was Democrat Party supporter Bernie BigBucks Madoff... and the ones who lost the most were either Democrat-leaning or openly Democrat or Democrat-Jewish groups.

As for Skate's claim that Wall Street was peddling "phony paper" I think you're referring to the rebundled investment vehicles allowed by Clinton's and BarneyFrank's "reform" of FannieMae and FreddieMac products.

There's no alternate reality than a simple one: if the Bush era SocSec reforms had been passed even in the face of strong Democrat Party scare tactics and heckling at townhall meetings, people of near retirement age would have lost nothing of significance in the latest economic downturn.  It would have been younger enrollees who MAY HAVE lost but that's unlikely because the Bush SocSec reforms and opt-out options weren't available under the last legislative proposal until 2015.

The answer to SkatingSkayne's question is "no one".

Except all those investors who trusted Democrat Bernie Madoff to conduct biz with integrity... and future SocSec retirees who are counting on the fed govt to conduct biz with integrity... and all those mortgage holders and investors who trusted the Democrats in Congress to reform the housing regulation scandals when Bush brought them to light in 2002.  Of course the other big loser are today's kids... they'll be paying for the Obama Recklessness for years and years into their retirements.

Ouch, it's gotta hurt when the litany of abuses and usurpations by the govt get logner everyday Obama and the Democrats control Congress.

Read for comprehension

He said nobody near retirement would have lost a dime in this recent drop, under the proposed reform.  Bush's reform would have guaranteed the same level of benefits to people who were near retirement.

Are you and Jon sure about that?

I can't believe a Republican would setup a financial system that prevents Americans from losing their money. Seems to go against everything the GOP stand for. I guess I can Google, but I'll take your word for it. Does not seem like reform if the plan guarenteed a certain level of return or make much fiscal sense. I guess if you cranked the money press, it would have worked. Or raise taxes....psyche.

As Jon said (below) :

The personal accounts were only available to people born 1950 or after.  People born before 1950 were not eligible. Therefore, they would not have lost a dime in their SS accounts.


re: Wishful thinking

The personal accounts were only available to people born 1950 or after.  People born before 1950 were not eligible. Therefore, they would not have lost a dime in their SS accounts.