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Monday, April 18, 2005

Frequently Asked Questions: The Social Security Debate

Michael Ward

Q: What’s all this stuff I keep hearing about Social Security?
A: Oh, nothing. Don’t you worry your pretty little head. Everything’s going to be fine. The President has everything under control. He’s just going to privatize it. It will only take a second. You can keep watching “Alias.”

Q: But isn’t this going to affect me somehow?
A: No, not really. You may feel a brief, sharp pain, like a pinprick, and then possibly some dull, localized pressure, but that’s about it. Unless you have liver problems, in which case you should consult your doctor.

Q: So, who will this really affect then?
A: The terrorists. Privatizing Social Security will prevent them from winning.

Q: Huh?
A: If we don’t privatize Social Security, the terrorists win. Pretend the world is like “Hollywood Squares,” and the terrorists have just got their second X by going with JM J. Bullock in the bottom left square. Privatizing Social Security would be like going with Shadoe Stevens for the block.

Q: Oh, I get it. So what’s the big stink about all this?
A: I’m not sure I follow your question.

Q: Like, didn’t I hear something in Jay Leno’s monologue a little while back about a big debate about all this stuff?
A: Oh, that. No, you see, Jay Leno couldn’t make any Michael Jackson jokes at the time, because he’d been subpoenaed to appear at Jackson’s trial, so he was recently talking about random stuff as filler.

Q: Ah, gotcha. Wasn’t Social Security started by F.D.R. to help people with polio or being depressed or something?
A: You’re thinking of penicillin.

Q: Sorry about that. Wait,one more thing. If the Bush administration tried to deceive to us about the reasons for invading Iraq, the costs of the prescription-drug benefit, support for No Child Left Behind, and all kinds of other stuff, why should we believe what they’re saying about Social Security?
A: Whoa, look at the time. Aren’t you missing “North Shore” on Fox?

Q: Wasn’t it just cancelled?
A: Was it? Not sure. But if it was, we can get it reinstated real soon.

Q: Sweet. Thanks.
A: No problem.

Michael Ward is a product of deepest, darkest suburban Boston and a smallish liberal arts college. Among other things, he has accidentally walked into a Backstreet Boys concert in Brazil, won an umbrella by besting the citizens of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in a battle of wits, and learned the hard way that ATA and AirTran Airways are not, in fact, the same airline. His garlic guacamole is divine. He is, above all else, a pragmatist.