Wednesday, February 02, 2005

There Was a Speech?

by Tom Bozzo

Suzanne had suggested that I consider suspending the Marginal Utility "reality based except" subtitle in honor of this evening's festivities, but February sweeps will give us more new West Wing episodes soon enough, and I declined.

I was, in fact, attending the DMNA transportation committee meeting, where hot topics included planned reconstruction of the intersection of Monroe and Regent Sts. (as the plans don't seriously improve the lot of the Southwest Path's thousand daily bike commuters, a waste of a million bucks IMHO), how to get drivers on Monroe to pay attention to those crossing flags and generally slow the f*** down, and the possible establishment of neighborhood walking group(s). Oh, and we made a bunch of the crossing flags to restock the intersections for Spring.

(Background: some young driver engaged in a game of Monroe St. crosswalk chicken with my then-pregnant spouse that makes me identify with "B"'s F-bomb drops in the Near East.)

Anyway, the news tells me that George W. Bush was pushing something called "voluntary personal retirement accounts," which is funny because we actually already have two voluntary personal retirement accounts (my work-sponsored 401(k) and Suzanne's IRA) and could probably have more if I researched the tax implications and actually had extra money to squirrel away for retirement. Hey, and I got one of the bigger Bush tax "cuts"!

The text of the speech otherwise contained so few details on the Plan as to hardly merit further comment, though the Plan will evidently focus on conservative investments that should foil the rate of return assumptions of the pro-privatization think tanks, and that "Little Nell" includes the entire attendance of the recent Madison blogger dinner — age range early-thirties to early-fifties.

Addendum: Details of the Plan's benefit offset, from a briefing before the speech (but not, apparently, the speech itself) are discussed in the Post. Atrios has a very useful tabular summary of the consequences. If this doesn't make the Plan DOA, we're in deep trouble.
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