Brad DeLong wants to sack Howie Kurtz, who wacked John Kerry for saying that Bush had a secret plan to cut Social Security benefits. Since we wacked Kerry on this one too, we feel obliged to rally ourselves here.
The Prof is drawing strength from this WaPo story telling us about future benefit cuts under a switch from wage indexing to inflation indexing being contemplated by the Administration. Ahh, but the big cuts are weel down the road! Here is the Kerry press release which seems to have inspired the Kurtz story, from which we excerpt:
“Once again, George Bush is out of touch. He just doesn’t get it. According to the bi-partisan Congressional Budget Office, his risky plan will force benefit cuts for seniors of up to 45 percent – that’s up to $500 a month less for food, clothing, and the occasional gift for a grandchild."
Now, the Deeply Committed may argue that Kerry was warning us about benefit cuts of 45% for the Seniors of Tomorrow. However, since the Times tells us he was speaking to the Seniors of Today, I think we can pardon Mr. Kurtz's underestimation of Mr. Kerry's eerie prescience.
That said, the ad text as found at FactCheck does not put a date on the benefit cuts. But since this came out two weeks before the election, and came from the same side that insisted that Bush was planning to bring back the draft, I think we can assume that Kerry was being deliberately misleading.