Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Social Security: Seek and Ye Shall Find

Spam makes me grumpy. I received a bulk email this afternoon from Michael Crane, author of "The Political Junkie Handbook".

Dear Blogger:

Excellent, personalized start to a sales pitch.

Pundits have written much about President Bush's Social Security Privatization Proposal. The Democrats' social security calculator (, for example, gives the user a general idea of how they would fare under Bush's plan. Unfortunately, there is lttle information about the calculator. What factors did they consider? Benefits under the Bush plan are a function of time, return on investment and age of retirement. None of their assumptions are listed...

Essentially, I stopped reading the email at this point. Last week, I posted a link to the referenced calculator, and recommended that everyone check it out. And - sonofabitch - I also noted in comments to the original thread that a link to the calculator assumptions was listed at the bottom of the webpage.

So, Mr. Crane, who is hawking a ubiquitously titled book took an immediate credibility shot. My initial impression: at best, Mr. Crane is a poor researcher. At worst, he's a political hack trying to score wingnut points.

To make a long story short, I clicked through to the book website, and noted his contention that his book is nonpartisan, presenting both sides of the major political issues of the day. I reviewed a few pages which were scanned from the book onto his website, then I went back and reread the lead paragraph of his email. Maybe I'm just sensitive, I dunno, but it didn't sound particularly nonpartisan to me. Then I googled "Michael Crane" and came up with a discussion on that's worth reviewing for a chuckle, if nothing else.

Non-partisan. Heh.

I've requested of Mr. Crane that he send a mea culpa to everyone on his original spam list. Like that'll happen.