Monday, February 07, 2005
Super Bowl Sunday ... the Day After
Here's my views on the two Big Games ... first, the one in Jacksonville.
The football game itself ... a classic. The Pats once again show the teamwork, skill, drive, and consistency that have revived the term "dynasty" in the NFL lexicon. And the Eagles still have much to be proud of ... the only big flaw I saw on the field was their lethargic time management during the last two minutes, where the "no huddle" offense was replaced with the "no rush" approach to the line of scrimmage. The score was consistent with the performance of both teams.
It's also interesting how the instant-replay review system worked here ... two calls reversed in one game because of it. And, the refs were calling a tight game, with lots of flags in the first half.
The halftime show ... fun to watch, and not just because of the synchronized lights from miles outside the stadium, or the four horizontal Jumbotrons on the field. It was fun because Sir Paul McCartney rocked the house with some great music ... and no wardrobe malfunctions. Memo to Hollywood: you can entertain us without leading us to the gutter!
The commercials ... nothing on the order of the Apple Mac commercial of years past, but still some good ones. Of course, the winner was the Annheiser-Busch commercial that showed ordinary citizens showing their appreciation to some "ordinary" soldiers! The Ford Mustang commercial (with the frozen driver) was an eye catcher. OTOH, in what may be this year's "wardrobe malfunction", the commercials for Go Daddy.com and Diet Pepsi (the one with both men and women lustily following the Diet Pepsi drinker -- not the P. Diddy one) pushed the envelope a little too far for family viewing, IMO.
Now, briefly, to that other big game ... the ongoing one in Washington. In particular, the plays inside the Social Security Zone.
The Democrats need to watch what they say if they wish to have any credibility about this issue. The party line is that there is no real crisis ... problem is, not only did Bill Clinton act during his term as if there is a Social Security crisis, the Dems opposed the Bush tax cuts in part, to "save" social security! The stubborn, no-ron Donkeys, focused on opposing anything this President proposes, have been put into a box of their own making.
And, once again, they are using the tactic of the half-truth to oppose this President. They are emphasizing that, for younger people who will fall under the President's privatization plan, "benefits will be cut" (insert evil organ music here).
To this I say ... DUH!
The government-guaranteed portion of the benefit might be cut (because less money is being placed in that so-called "lockbox" to fund it by these retirees) -- but any cut will be more than made up by the returns from the invested, private accounts!
And -- I use the word "will" for a reason:
- History has shown that the markets consistently outperform the government investments Social Security is based upon, over all but the shortest time horizons.
- There is another risk factor in the present plan no one's talking about -- the ability of our politicians to further undermine the plan, by dipping into this (lack of) "trust fund" to mask their fiscal responsibility ... with the possiblity of making up the resulting shortfalls through MASSIVE tax increases in the future!
Now, one thing that makes me nervous is this idea in the DeMint plan of "clawback" -- that the government will take a large portion of your private account, and convert it to a stream of guaranteed payments ... and possibly getting some of that money back at the time of the recipient's death.
This runs counter to the need for ownership of these accounts, in order to build wealth and transfer it across generations ... and I will be speaking out against these kinds of provisions as the debate rages.
But, isn't it ironic that the Dems are using "clawback" as a dirty word, when in fact it not only gives them what they want -- a guarantee against personal errors -- but is, when you get down to it, an apt description for the present system they now think is so good?
UPDATE: in talking with my colleagues, I noted that I forgot to mention the closest things to side-splitters in this year's Super Bowl lineup ... the Ameriquest Mortgage "Don't Judge Too Quickly" ads.
Both the "robber" and the "kitty" spots were really good -- though the fact that I had forgotten them might indicate that they weren't THAT good?
BTW, Ameriquest is already issuing letters of apology for the "kitty" spot, which apparently offended some animal lovers -- to them I say:
"THICKEN YOUR SKIN A LITTLE, FOR PETE'S SAKE!"
I admit that Radley has slightly conceded in his post today, and for that he has earned more admiration.
I honestly cannot wait to see what GW will accomplish in these next 4 years. My excitement is barely containable. To think, the possibility of families in America actually having wealth to leave to their families... 4 years ago, it was unthinkable. Who would have thunk... GWB... the enlightened one?
While Radley is more even-handed than a lot of libertarians when it comes to evaluating this President, he will probably always have a problem with President Bush, because this President will not move to legalize drugs, and because this President will move to define marriage as only for heterosexuals ...
... not to mention, that both he and I have a problem with this Administration's immigration policies (as if the Dems were ANY better) -- the difference is that Radley has leaned towards open borders as a corollary to free trade, while I think that an open-borders policy ignores the security, social infrastructure, and "ownership-taking" issues that are supposed to be addressed through immigration policy.
As for frustration -- I get frustrated when I see people ignoring the role people like Kerry, Kennedy, Boxer, and the other No-rons (past and present) played in denigrating our intelligence capabilities to the point that we bought the line Saddam was using on his own generals about the "presence" of WMD for their use.
So many blame the President, but give the No-rons a pass on this -- and this, IMO is the untold story of our involvement with Iraq.
Feel free to vent, anytime!