Thursday, March 03, 2005


Frist's Epiphany

Social Security Reform in, no wait let's do it now.

Perhaps Majority Leader first took a look at the calendar and realized that 2006 is an election year and that moving any social security vote back to then would create huge electoral problems for the GOP. Having a vote this year doesn't really help much either, it compresses (and compression creates heat) the debate and mixes in the poisonous partisan wrangling over judicial appointments into the mix. Believe it or not, some GOP Committee Chairs won't even directly speak to their Democratic counter parts on various committees.

Anyway, here's a good way to gauge the soundness of any plan and to see if the underlying motivation is good conservative public policy or just passing a bill and claiming victory. Here's some tips for watching this play out.

Will the administration put forth policy arguments and figures in support of their proposal (remember, private accounts don't solve the funding problem--they exacerbate it) on how much of your private account you get to keep and how much your benefits will be cut (index adjusted') in the future? OR will the administration continue with the private accounts will save social security and if you don't support it you're un-American, liberal, a franophile and probably gay?

If the later is the strategy, we should get used to things like...Majority Leader Reed and Chairwoman Clinton. The GOP has been able to strong arm their opposition into acquiescence over the last four years, forcing a 'solution' to social security could prove problematic in 2006.

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