The Nine Stages of Social Security Reactions

From Holden:

As Demonstrated by one George W. Bush.

Question: Sir, you’re going to this conference today. Some Democrats call the private accounts in Social Security a risky scheme. What happens if people lose money on their investments? Does the government bail them out?

1) Recognition.

PRESIDENT BUSH: Look, Steve, this is the issue about addressing the long-term liability issue. This is a Social Security issue.

2) Incoherence.

Like many nations in Europe, there’s an issue with Social Security systems.

3) Stumbling.

Baby boomers are getting ready to retire and there’s not enough workers to sustain that which — that which has been promised.

4) Incoherence Again.

So the fundamental question I placed before the Congress is, we have a problem, let’s work together to deal with it.

5) Adjectivication.

The people in our country have heard this notion, so-called “risky scheme” adjectives in the 2000 campaign and the 2004 campaign. I took the message to them.

6) Math Anxiety.

And I look forward to working with both members — members of both parties to solve this problem.

7) Stumbling Again.

But let me just give you one — this is a chance now to kind of start laying the groundwork for future questions.

8) Masturbatory Hubris.

The great desire for people in Congress is for me to negotiate with myself.

9) Petulence.

You notice I said the great desire for members of Congress, not members of the press. And therefore, I will continue to articulate principles that I think are important and reach out to members of both parties to fashion a plan that solves the problem.