Bamboozlepalooza, Street Theater Edition!
Next Tuesday President Bush is taking the Bamboozlepalooza Tour to West Virginia.
But he's going somewhere special, Parkersburg, home of the Bureau of Public Debt
. That's where the Treasury notes that make up the Social Security Trust Fund are kept -- the ones the president and his allies deride as worthless slips of paper or worthless IOUs.
Indeed, in announcing the president's visit, White House spokesman Taylor Gross noted that "This is a center that, in a sense, houses the IOUs of Social Security." And then he went on to say that "the president seeks to highlight the fact that the IOUs housed at Parkersburg are a good example of why this system needs to be fixed."
After touring the Bureau, the president is scheduled to move on to a Bamboozlepalooza event at West Virginia University at Parkersburg
Now, the article
on the visit in the Parkersburg News and Sentinel
, which appeared before the death of John Paul II, noted that the Pope's then-apparently-imminent death could lead to a change in scheduling of the president's trip. But whenever the visit occurs, the clear aim is to create footage of the president chatting up or even handling the debt instruments he says are worthless and that he is so committed to not repaying or defaulting on.
Now, if there were any shame in the man or any sense in the media, this would be treated like a case of the crook returning to the scene of the crime -- only we might say, in this case, in advance of the bad act he aspires to.
But it would certainly make sense for the supporters of Social Security to raise this question again now
in the clearest terms: Does the president believe that those Treasury notes are backed by the full faith and credit
of the United States and will he guarantee those funds will be repaid?Late Update
: TPM Reader AK
writes in with a splendid bit of lexical or phraseological insight. What the president is doing is casing the joint
. Even Later Update
: Actually, why didn't I realize this the first time through? The president is making a special stop at the Bureau of Public Debt to view his legacy.