Saturday, February 12, 2005

Bush Says Wants Ideas on Retirement Overhaul

via Reuters:

President Bush promised to listen to "any good idea" for fixing Social Security on Saturday as he sought to coax reluctant lawmakers into joining his effort to overhaul the retirement program.

But Democrats signaled little interest in working with Bush unless he scraps the centerpiece of his plan -- allowing workers to shift up to 4 percentage points of their payroll taxes into private stock and bond accounts.

"I will work with members of Congress and listen to any good idea that does not include raising payroll taxes," Bush said in his weekly radio address.

"But we cannot pretend that the problem does not exist," he said, as he repeated his warning that Social Security was headed for bankruptcy.
Transition costs for the private accounts would be required because the government would need to make up the difference between payroll taxes that are diverted into the accounts and those needed to pay benefits of current retirees.

In an interview on Thursday in USA Today, South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said the trillions that would need to be borrowed for the private accounts were the "Achilles heel" of Bush's Social Security program.

Don't believe for a second that Bush actually wants to listen to anything remotely resembling reason. But even pretending to listen is a very un-Dubya move, and speaks volumes about the degree to which they know that they have overplayed their hand on Social Security.

Credit is due to the lefty websites that have crunched numbers, framed arguments and generally helped to keep pressure on the Democrats in Congress to close ranks. I am more encouraged by how the Democrats and the blogosphere have worked this than I have been about anything political in months. I figure another month or so of this and the battle will be largely won. They won't admit defeat, of course, but you are going to hear Social Security come up about as often as that other "one that got away" -- Osama bin Laden.


Post a Comment

<< Home

see web stats