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Sunday, July 10, 2005

Social Security Reform Follies Not Yet Iced

I thought I’d take a few minutes to bring you the latest I can find on Social Security reform.  The only behind the scenes reporting I've discovered so far is this from The Washington Times.  If this is accurate, the reform effort isn't dead yet:

Republicans retrench on Social Security fix, By Amy Fagan, The Washington Times:  Six months after Republicans began selling Social Security reform, they all but acknowledge that wide-scale changes won't happen this year. But knowing they must do something, they are pushing a narrower Social Security proposal in the House. … Although some Republicans have said a solvency fix is still achievable in a final House package, it doesn't seem likely. … leaders couldn't achieve consensus in the House for a permanent Social Security fix, but they also couldn't face the 2006 electorate without acting on the president's wishes. Therefore … they combined private accounts, which most Republicans support, with the popular idea of stopping the government from raiding the Social Security surplus. … [Vice president and chief economist for the Free Enterprise Fund ] Mr. Hunter said that even if the new proposal fails in the Senate, it "inoculates" House Republicans from attacks on the issue in the 2006 elections.  "If it works, you've got a great victory. If it fails [in the Senate], well you don't get hurt," he said.  He warned against adding benefit changes or other solvency provisions proposed by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas, California Republican. "There's a real chance he will undermine the whole effort and it will collapse," Mr. Hunter said. …

The clown show description fits better and better with each passing day.  It looks like the strategy is to get something to a vote, anything, then blame Democrats for obstructing reform.  If they think the public is so dumb that they can put out a hare-brained proposal that doesn’t even address the solvency crisis they invented to sell this thing, then blame others for obstructing their stupidity and somehow gain from that strategy, they are seriously underestimating the intelligence of the public.  Somehow that doesn’t surprise me.

    Posted by on Sunday, July 10, 2005 at 05:28 PM in Economics, Social Security | Permalink  TrackBack (1)  Comments (8)


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    There's certainly no sign here of Intelligent Design. Mark Thoma writes: Economist's View: Social Security Reform Follies Not Yet Iced: I thought I’d take a few minutes to bring you the latest I can find on Social Security reform... this from The... [Read More]

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