Today's Note from a Madman

Thursday, December 3, 2004

What If…

 by Noah Greenberg


What if a newly elected President G.W. Bush, back in 2000 had passed through the congress and senate his plan to privatize Social Security?

Question:              Which companies would have been included on the “Okay to invest with” list?

Answer:                 Enron; MCI WorldCom; Arthur Anderson; TYCO; etc.

Question :             What would have happened to all of the Social security money invested in those companies when their stocks bottomed out?

Answer #1:           The tab would have been picked up by the American public at a cost of billions, perhaps trillions of dollars

Answer #2:           Those who invested would have been out of luck

·         No retiring early, for those who might have been able to afford it

·         No inheritance for grandchildren due to the depletion of savings for everyday living expenses

·         A part time job, assuming they were still able to work

·         Selling their homes and burdening their children, assuming they could

Question:              How much would the transition cost during the period when Social Security is no longer collected by the federal government, but there are still people collecting monthly social security payments?

Answer:                 Between 1 trillion ($1,000,000,000) and 5 trillion dollars ($5,000,000,000) – that’s a lot of zero’s

Question:              Who will foot the bill for transition?

Answer:                 C’mon… You really have to ask that? Since the tax cuts have been to the wealthiest Americans (51% of the tax cuts go to the wealthiest 1% of all Americans), we can safely assume that they will not be footing the bill; and since the poorest Americans can’t afford to foot the bill, that leaves the rest of us… the middle class. Since we are already financing the budget deficit, the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, we ought to be used to it by now.


What if the war in Iraq was really funded by the sale of oil by the 2nd largest oil producing nation in the world, as was promised by the Bush Administration and his neo-con administrators?

Question:              What if we kept track of oil sales in Iraq after the invasion in march of 2003?

Answer:                 The U.S. taxpayer would have to shell out less than the $200 billion ($200,000,000,000 – more zero’s) it has cost as of now.

Question:              How much money has been raised by the sale of Iraqi oil to date?

Answer:                 Unknown, but what is known is that there is $8.8 billion missing ($$8,800,000.000 – even more zero’s)


What if you were a conspiracy theorist, how would you view the war in Iraq knowing, by the administration’s own words (see Plan of Attack by Bob Woodward) that they were planning to attack Iraq even before the terrorist attacks of 9/11?

Question:              Assuming you were the CEO of Halliburton, what would be the best thing, financially that could happen in Iraq?

Answer:                 A long, drawn out war that resulted in the necessity of a United States presence over the next 10 years or more

Question:              Why would a long presence be good for Halliburton and other companies in the oil industry?

Answer:                 As long as Halliburton’s oil is beneath the sand belonging to the Iraqi people, the less likely Halliburton, and their ilk are to leave. (The longer US troops are in Iraq, the longer there will be unrest in Iraq. The longer there will be unrest in Iraq, the longer those troops will be needed. The longer those troops are needed, animosity towards the US and the troops grow. More animosity in Iraq means less stability in Iraq. The less stable Iraq is, the less likely a turn over of the country and its resources are. The less likely the turnover of the resources in Iraq are, the less likely the ability of the Iraqi people to control them. The less likely the Iraqi people are to control those resources, the more need there is for outside control of those resources. The more need for outside control of resources, the more money companies like Halliburton make controlling those resources.)


What if the plan of the Bush Administration is accepted regarding work visas for migrant workers is pushed through the congress and senate and signed by the President?

Question:              Why would the Bush Administration want migrant workers to work in the US then go back to their Mexican homes in the evening?

Answer #1:           To assure businesses of a cheap work force

Answer #2:           To reduce, or keep artificially low the US minimum wage

Answer #3:           To keep pressure on labor unions to just “give up”

Question:              What impact would migrant workers have on the economy of places like Southern California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas?

Answer:                 It would be an economic bust. Money would be paid to workers who wouldn’t be spending it in the US. Instead, the American dollars that these migrant workers would make would be taken back to, and be spent in Mexico. No private retail business would benefit. No sales tax collected for local communities to keep local and state taxes lower.

Question:              What group of people would be impacted from an employment point of view?

Answer:                 Think back on the minimum wage jobs and who worked them prior to the 1990’s. They were college kids looking to  make ends meet. They were high schoolers looking for gas money. They were full-time moms in need of a part time job. They were full time dads needing a little extra cash around Christmas time.


What if President Bill Clinton had decided to invade Iraq after the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993, a mere 1 month and 6 days into his Presidency with a majority in the House and Senate?

Question:              Would the Republican minority have stood up and cheered?

Answer:                 Probably not

Question:              Would the Republican minority have voted to fund an invasion of Saudi Arabia, the most obvious country with ties to the Blind Sheik?

Answer:                 Probably not

Question:              After the bombings, did the Republican minority stand up and cry that President Clinton didn’t do anything in retaliation for that first attack on the World Trade Center?

Answer:                 No

Question:              After the February 26, 1993 attack on the World Trade Center, did we have another attack on the continental US?

Answer:                 No

Question:              What if airplanes were used as missiles on September 11, 1993 instead of  September 11, 2001, would the Republican minority have said it was the fault of George H.W. Bush’s presidency? Would they have blamed Ronald Reagan? Would they have attributed to a CIA problem? Or would they have been screaming for Bill Clinton’s bloody head on a spear?

Answer:                 THE SPEAR! THE SPEAR!

More WHAT IFS to follow...

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-Noah Greenberg