Vol. 3, Issue 12, April 26, 2005
Bush Reinstates Draft to Fix Social Security, And Then Some
With the president's plans to revitalize Social Security mired in the Senate Finance Committee, the White House has announced a sudden shift in tactics, touting a new strategy which does not involve privatizing Social Security accounts.
"I'd like to add that I thought of this one all by myself," said President Bush at a press conference on Monday. "I'd share the credit with Vice President Cheney, but I think he's been getting a bit uppity lately, and he's put on weight besides; you all know I can't stand that. So this one is all mine, Dick."
The president's plan does not actually involve major modifications to Social Security per se. What it does involve is a surprise reinstatement of the military draft, with a twist: only citizens 65 and older are eligible.
"With this plan, which I call Operation Silver Eagle, America's most venerable citizens will have an unprecedented chance to stand up for freedom in American operations around the world," said Bush. "I was gonna call it Operation Bald Eagle, but we're drafting the women too, so "silver" seemed the better way to go."
According to the White House, the plan will simultaneously solve the Social Security crisis, the armed forces recruitment shortfall, and the Medicare crisis.
"Basically, senior citizens enrolled in the armed forces won't be collecting Social Security until their discharge from the military," said Washington political analyst Robert Baker. "So it defers Social Security payments for years; plus, with the higher projected mortality rate for these recruits - they're projecting 75% I think - there's a good chance the government won't have to pay Social Security at all for most of them. The military, of course, can use all the warm bodies it can get; and in today's armed forces, it's not really necessary to lug an 80 pound pack. All you have to do is push a button in most cases."
Medicare savings will come because there will be no medical exemptions from the draft, meaning the chronic and expensive medical care for millions of senior citizens will be handled instead by the military's internal medical system.
"You wouldn't think that they could save money by having the military do something instead of the private sector," admitted Baker. "But where medical care's concerned the armed forces are actually pretty resourceful and make do with very limited supplies. I heard of one unit that successfully used a $20 coffeemaker as a dialysis machine. Now that's a cost effective approach."
Surprisingly, the response of the politically powerful AARP has been muted on the issue, apparently due to division within the ranks. Many members, apparently, are not entirely opposed to Operation Silver Eagle.
"So they want to send me to Iraq," said 73 year old member AARP member Jack O'Connell, who currently resides in a nursing home outside of Alexandria. "I hear everything's under control over there, so why not have a vacation in the sun on Uncle Sam's tab? Besides, it's not like I have anything better to do."