Thursday :: Feb 17, 2005

Cato the Dumber

by rayman

If you haven't already, do check out; these folks have been doing a tremendously effective job rebutting the lies and distortions coming from the pro-privatization crowd. In particular, Bob Brigham has an excellent analysis on the CATO Institute's buffoonery in trying to build political support for the phase-out, and how it has endangered its 20-year long Leninist dream:

The goal was never to seek political capital from youth, what the privateers needed to finance their scheme is cold, hard cash. Cato's idea whores come from an economic background and have shown they possess limited political wherewithal. Cato's goal has always been to increase the efficiency of young workers subsidizing of the scheme, their focus is not on earning political support but on maximizing their formula to separate young people from their money.

The problem is that by seeking to not anger seniors, Cato's plan actually pissed off seniors. The Law of Unintended Consequences backhanded the Cato Institute with a reminder that this is chess, not checkers. Cato overplayed their hand, lost, and in the process linked the Republican Party to curse of privatization.


Cato played the Republican Party. All Cato needed was people talking about their crazy ideas to make them feel like they have legitimacy. Cato doesn't care that they put the Republican Party in an untenable situation that is likely to cost the GOP control of Washington. Cato has never been Republican, it has always been Libertarian. Cato has succeeded in forcing their extremism to the forefront of the debate and the GOP has been stuck with the bill.

Couldn't happen to a nicer group of reactionaries (that is, both CATO and the Republicans), right? More seriously, Brigham notes how the privateers are regrouping from this initial defeat, and are rebranding their effort "Generations Together":

To clean up the mess made by the politically inept Cato Institute, the privateers have now re-branded their campaign, Generations Together. This damage-control is an admission by the professionals that Cato screwed up and that Cato's blunder was severe enough to force a message re-invention emergency.

But will they be able to undo the damage of the past two months, even with $200 million at their disposal? Eh.

Via MyDD.

rayman :: 1:33 PM :: Comments (6) :: Digg It!