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Cheney lectures us on responsibility?

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Now lest we take from this quote that Cheney understands the real culprit behind America’s dismal savings rate is lackluster earnings and bad public policy choices, the rest of his speech made it quite clear that is not where he’s coming from.

Instead, he went on to reiterate tax “relief” as the best way to help Americans keep more of their paychecks. He also touted the benefits of health savings accounts; paid lip service to strengthening social security; and urged the nation to begin addressing the looming entitlement crisis as the baby boomers begin to retire.

Nowhere did he address what to do about the fact, which he stunningly admitted, that millions of people live paycheck to paycheck. He also didn’t acknowledge that instead of saving, Americans are increasingly indebted to credit card companies in order to keep the lights on, food in the fridge and the car running.

It turns out he was just giving us a nod. Just showing us that he’s “in touch” with the reality that most Americans are caught in a vise grip of dwindling earnings and rising costs. But rest assured: As his remarks made quite clear, this administration isn’t going to address these issues. Rather, they’re going to tighten the vise with more tax cuts for the wealthy and by brutally cutting public services like food stamps and Medicaid—and then give us a finger-wagging lecture about how we need to save more.

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At www.tompaine.com

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