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June 08, 2005

Ding-Dong, The Plan is Dead

Looks like Social Security is safe:

President Bush has all but conceded his plan for private accounts for Social Security is dead, admitting privatization won't save the federal retirement system.

"You can solve the solvency issue without personal accounts," Bush said in an interview with the Radio-Television News Directors Association.

According to the article, Bush is still going to push on solvency measures (funny, I remember predicting the same thing four months ago...), trying to squeeze a public relations victory out of an ideological loss.  Democrats shouldn't let him.  Back in 1994, Bill Clinton did a very stupid thing and dramatically swore to veto any health care bill that didn't ensure universal coverage.  Thus, after all the bills providing universal coverage were buried in a deep, dark place in Newt Gingrich's secret underground lair, Clinton was unable to support any of the many minor, incremental bills that Republicans had cosponsored and that would've allowed him to enter the midterm elections having pushed through a tangible improvement on health care.  It was, as Newt admitted, Clinton's worst mistake of the battle as it would've allowed him to regain the momentum before the midterms.

Bush isn't going to make it.  He'll try and address the program's perceived solvency issues so he can strut into 2006 bragging about his courageous confrontation with the "third rail of politics" that had left America with a healthier pension program.  Democrats, of course, can't stop him from pulling this pivot, but if they're smart, they could change the subject before it ever becomes legislation.  There's broad agreement that Social Security isn't the problem, health care is.  Demanding that attention be paid to Medicare and the uninsured will make further moves on Social Security seem like a puzzling diversion from the work at hand and hopefully cut off further maneuvers by the president.  As an issue, health care is even stronger for Democrats than Social Security was (the American people did support investment accounts, on health care, their support is for single-payer and further government involvement), and they should press the advantage as the election looms closer, not let the president regain ground on a battle he lost.

June 8, 2005 in Social Security | Permalink

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» That thud you heard? from Musing's musings
That was the sound of the preznit's Social Security privatization piratization plan crashing and burning. About bloody time, is all I'll say. Bush admitted that piratization of the system would do nothing to save it. (And what's up with the [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 8, 2005 4:47:44 PM

» House Considering Pension Bill from Unpartisan.com Political News and Blog Aggregator
New rules governing defined-benefit pension plans offered by private employers may join changes to t [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 9, 2005 11:03:08 AM

Comments

Looks like Social Security is safe

Don't be a sucker. Now he will almost certainly try to change it to index benefits to prices rather than wages so that, over time, it effectively gets phased out.

Always keep your hand on your wallet in the presence of Bushistas...

Posted by: exgop | Jun 8, 2005 5:34:31 PM

I suspect this is rhetorical (or tactical) retreat on Bush's part, rather than strategic.

Rumors of a bill emerging from the House that tackles 'retirement' instead of social security are rife.

We are nowhere close to closing this chapter, IMO. Changing the subject might be a good idea tactically, but eventually BushCo WILL get a bill, probably something like the Bankruptcy or Energy bills, that are simply awful in the hidden details.

Posted by: JimPortlandOR | Jun 8, 2005 7:05:10 PM

Ezra,

You may have seen something that I didn't, but Bush admitted that Privatization does zilch for solvency a long time ago. So far as I can tell this is just some reporter getting him to go on the record with that again. The last graph alludes to a new focus of solvency, but I wouldn't jump to conclusions quite yet. And as you point out, it doesn't matter anyways because you don't quit running just because you're leading the race.

Carl

Posted by: Carl | Jun 8, 2005 7:18:42 PM

It is amazing to me that you would advocate not solving social securities problems because it might make Bush look good.

That is a sure-fire loosing attitude for Democrats in my opinion.

Posted by: Dave Justus | Jun 8, 2005 7:21:26 PM

If social security is "safe" how much will your grandkids receive each month if social security is not fixed?

Poster Dave is right, Democrats only hate social security reform, because a Republican is pushing the idea.

The Democrat social security "plan," is to wait until a Democrat is in the White House, before performing their duties as public servants.

Pathetic.

Posted by: Observer | Jun 9, 2005 12:44:29 AM

No, the plan is to keep the Republicans from weakening SS, which is their operational plan past, present, future, and then strengthen it when the opportunity arises.

Posted by: The Dark Avenger | Jun 9, 2005 1:24:33 AM

"The Democrat social security "plan," is to wait until a Democrat is in the White House."

Yes, you are right. And thats because a Democrat in the Whitehouse will propose a real fix that includes raising taxes, removing/raising the 90K ceiling, and cutting benefits slightly. Not the irresponsible, debt increasing, SS gutting plan that Bush supposedly proposes. THATS pathetic.

Posted by: Adrock | Jun 9, 2005 3:46:11 PM

This is just what I don't really get. Why don't people that whine about the Democrats honorable (yes, thats my choice of words) position on this front understand that any compromise involving the President will including phasing out Social Security? Do you not realize this? Or do you not care? Do you not realize that the plan can be fixed without phase? Or do you just not care?

Posted by: Adrock | Jun 9, 2005 3:48:49 PM

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Posted by: peter.w | Sep 16, 2007 10:24:58 PM

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