Monday, January 03, 2005

DRIVEN TO DISTRACTION Here's everything you need to know about the Social Security "crisis":
1. The federal government, outside of Social Security, is currently $7 trillion in debt. If laws are left unchanged, that figure will grow.

2. If Social Security continues in its current form, its trust fund is projected to remain solvent till sometime between 2042 and 2052.

3. By 2080, the trust fund is projected to have a shortfall of...$3.7 trillion.
So: If you were in charge, which debt would you tackle first? The $7 trillion every American man, woman and child owns a share of today? Or a debt projected to reach half that amount seventy-five years down the road?

The Bushies have their answer: They've decided to focus the conversation on the second number. And in case you're wondering, they expect to be applauded for their foresight and their seriousness of purpose.

They're like that college roommate who, with a term paper due in the morning, spends half the night getting an early start on his Christmas cards.

What a show of preparedness! What sober, long-term thinking!

And maybe, just maybe, that term paper will write itself...

CONTRAPOSITIVE is edited by Dan Aibel. Dan's a playwright. He lives in New York City.