Newspeak and Doublespeak

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by David R. Remer PoliWatch.Org, Watchblog

Today CEO and President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Tom Donohue and Treasury Secretary John Snow addressed the National Chamber of Commerce. C-span aired the program live at 10 AM. I have never seen Orwell's Newspeak and Doublespeak so eloquently spoken in real life. Donohue belabored the threat to the economy and private industry profitability posed by Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. He indicated that these programs were developed based on actuarial data is now outdated. Unfortunately for private industry he indicated, people are living much longer and the actuarial data upon which the programs were based is no longer valid. Snow reiterated in his speech that entitlements have simply got to be dealt with.

Now bear in mind, their audience was press, Business owners, and CEO's and they are talking about eliminating these entitlement programs in favor of the American population providing for themselves by hiring some of these businesses and corporations to invest their discretionary income into profitable investment vehicles for the businesses and corporations. This implies that Americans have not been providing for themselves before. So what were all those decades of Soc. Sec. and Medicare/Medicaid deductions from our paychecks for? Must have been for Congressional perks and salary increases if not for Americans providing for themselves through these programs, eh? The Doublespeak here is that entitlements are referred to as being getting something for nothing while investing in private industry is getting something for giving something. Those paycheck deductions were payments into a retirement baseline program and premiums paid into a government overseen health insurance program. Donohue's and Snow's problem with entitlements is that private industry is not getting their cut on the investments, and employers under the current system are providing contributions to each employee's Soc. Sec. and Medicare/Medicaid deductions as part of the employee's salary package.

The implication here is that businesses and corporations will become far more profitable by eliminating their contributions to employee's "Entitlement" programs. If accomplished however, DO NOT look for a compensatory increase in salary to the employees, nor a minimum wage increase. The goal here is to reduce employee overall pay by eliminating Employer contributions, which will make the companies more competitive in the international market place where wages are lower. The only problem is they wish to increase their profitability by making American employees poorer.

Snow's position is interesting. Snow stated he has no problem with deficits (meaning: deficits resulting from corporate welfare programs or elective war with Iraq and its nation building), BUT he states that "entitlement" programs for individual Americans paid for by American citizens and employees and their employers are a great danger to our economy and corporate profits since they will result in serious deficits.

Snow of course, went on at length about how successful President Bush has been in stimulating the economy that was declining fast under the previous administration. He cited job growth (net loss of more than one and a half million plus jobs to date), and a host of other economic indicators all showing we are on the right track and growing nicely. He even had the temerity to quote CEO confidence, a key lagging indicator as showing economic promise. He must have been referring to a few friends in the audience because MSNBC yesterday discussed how CEO insider trading demonstrates very bearish numbers with sell to buy ratios higher than have been seen in a very long time.

A DLC Founder & CEO Al From put forth a very uninspiring apology for the Democratic Party in the coming elections citing Dean as the frontrunner while current polls show other candidates have a far better chance of beating Bush. He predicted and expects Dean to change his message to appeal to swing voters and centrist Democrats after the nomination. That at least was probably insightful.

Newt Gingrich, I found the least guilty of Newspeak and Doublespeak, and the most credible speaker on most of his topics. While Gingrich offered few answers, he eloquently posed the problems the nation faces in regards to domestic economics in a global economic arena with all of the challenges that that entails. Gingrich also pointed out probably correctly, that Clark stands the best chance of winning against Bush, but only if Bush experiences a large gaff or setback in the minds of centrist voters. Finally, Gingrich spoke well and cogently about both parties having an obligation for the future of the nation to enact real tax reform. However, he did fall into the Newspeak and Doublespeak of privatizing all social programs as somehow beneficial to the American people when the real beneficiaries will be usurers, middlepersons taking a cut on individual investments for managing them and the corporations to whom individual investments will be loaned. Here too, Gingrich like the other Orwellian speakers fail to mention individual investments come with NO GUARANTEE your money will be there when you need it. Investments are subject to market fluctuations and global economic rises and falls. "Entitlements" the Gingrich fails to mention, come with a contractual guarantee backed by the same full faith and credit of the U.S. Government which gives those pieces of paper we call money, value to purchase real goods and services.

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This page contains a single entry by David R. Remer published on January 7, 2004 5:06 PM.

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