Bill Bennett’s Remarks: The Premise of the Question

Jonah Goldberg wants us to return to the caller’s question that prompted William Bennett’s poor choice of words:

A quick recap: Bennett got a call from a listener suggesting that Social Security was in financial straights because so many taxpayers had been aborted after Roe vs. Wade. The caller was making an ostensibly pro-life point. But Bennett, also a pro-lifer, objected.

The rest of Goldberg’s op-ed was itself offensive for a couple of reasons. After all, some liberals did note the premise of the question and not simply the pathetic analogy. Secondly, Goldberg like Bennett pretends to be a libertarian but also wishes to have the government impose their morality on others – as in the abortion issue.

Beyond that – I’m glad Goldberg reminded us of the caller’s claim that less births worsens the solvency of Social Security as the rightwing has shown such utter confusion on this score. Consider for example, the Tim Russert et al. obsession with the increase in life expectancy from birth as opposed to the more modest the increase in life expectancy at age 65 as an alleged cause of insolvency. Also recall some of the various reactions to the Baker-DeLong-Krugman argument that the Social Security Trustee assumptions of slower population growth and continued high equity returns were inconsistent. Some on the right claimed that faster population growth would not improve the Trust Fund’s solvency.

Maybe Mr. Bennett decided to change the topic to this false relationship between race and crime so as to avoid having to think of all the ways his rightwing buddies have distorted the Social Security issue. But I agree with the proposition that tying the Social Security debate and the abortion debate is truly objectionable.