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March 03, 2005


One gets the distinct impression that you can tell an outlet's bias for or against Bush by seeing the slant they put on this issue. Let's see if that holds up in the (60 or so) days to come.

I'm having some trouble figuring out why they have continued flogging this one as hard as they have, and why they would think that tactics like vicious political attacks on the AARP are going to get them there. Is it that they have such a degree of hubris from eking out the win in November that they truly believe there's a mandate? Is it becuase they were able to dupe a majority of citizens into actually believing Iraq had something to do with 9/11 and had WMD? If they lie loudly enough and often enough they'll eventually turn public opinion? I'm glad that they're on this goose chase--dissension in Republican ranks, a growing distrustful public, and a big policy failure will only do us good in 2006--but I sure don't see what's motivating it.

I think they are now exploring other backdoor ways they can do a trojan horse phase out, acknowledging that the front door is locked.

Beware of any"compromises." This round is over, we've "won" this one. But it could get much sneakier. And letting Democrats get the impression that they've "won" could be part of the next plan. Extend no trust whatsoever - that must be the message sent to Congressional Democrats. The track record of trickery is too long. No room for complacency or satisfaction on our part.

If they lie loudly enough and often enough they'll eventually turn public opinion?

They really believe they shape reality and not the other way around. And which part of their experience so far says they're wrong? Besides, if they succeed they usher in the dominant republican majority that Rove has wet dreams about. If they fail... well, what the hell? They still have the WH Sen and House.

No room for complacency or satisfaction on our part.

So true. From the CSM comes this gem:

"We're seeing a big PR push to change the Gallup Poll numbers, so Congress will take the proposals more seriously," says Stephen Wayne, a government professor at Georgetown University. "He's trying to demonstrate that he has public backing."

By week's end, though, the numbers didn't look good for Bush. A Pew Research Center poll showed support for private accounts slipping to 46 percent. Last September, 58 percent of the public supported such accounts. A Gallup Poll taken in late February showed 35 percent of Americans approving of Bush's handling of Social Security and 56 percent disapproving.

The administration "believes that the Democrats and the AARP have scared people and that the Republicans are basically being influenced by these scare tactics; Republicans are chicken," says Professor Wayne. "From the start, this presidency has been one of action and strength and conviction. And he's been pretty successful at doing that, and he'll continue to do it. That's his style."

See also comment above to mcjoan. They are not likely to ever give up.

You're absolutely right, Dem, they do think they shape reality. It's worked for them so far. I agree with Crab Nebula that compromise could be very dangerous. Right now I don't see too many downsides to being obstructionist on this issue, particularly if the Ds can come up with a feasible, attractive alternative plan. I love to see the Rs sweating this one--Frist with his "clarification" on the floor today about the time table for legislation as more and more R members are saying "not so fast."

First of all, there is a Democratic Plan that we should note and champion. To read about it, go to Representative Martin Olav Sabo's website. For those who don't remember, he was chair of the Budget Committee last time the Dem's controlled Congress between 92 and 94, and his product is also the work of the Democratic Study Group. He makes changes in the way Trust Fund borrowing is "Paid For" in the Budget -- and scored by CBO that takes Social Security as is out 75 years.

Needs talking up enough so that Krugman comments and Sabo gets to go mano on mano with the doom and gloom bankruptcy predictors.

Second -- we are not doing enough to put "targets" on the folk who don't think having less than 10% of our Elderly in poverty is a national accomplishment. That should be the message. Who are the representatives and institutions who want to make the elderly dependent on their children? Who are the folk who want to see the elderly seeking handouts and begging? Who wants to be faced with a decision as to whether to pay for college for your kids, or support your elderly folks? We don't begom to know how to rip emotions on this one.

Sara, one might think of this as a two step issue. Privatization (or privatization plus) is what's on the table and getting smaked down. Cutting benefits is next. The more it's GOP CW that it's necessary, the more your strategery comes into play. Right now, the media won't cover it.

Last Week Martin organized some town meetings around his bill -- it has been introduced in the House, and he invited several of the local Right Wing Think Tanks to form a panel and appear with him to critique both his plan and Bush's unwritten plan.

It helps to represent a district where you win elections by 75% of the vote -- Martin Sabo represents Minneapolis, but it is equally fun to have the chance to watch a real smack-down by one cool Norwegian. But this is what many Democrats are anxious to watch, one of our guys who is not afraid of the right, and who is capable of defeating them in real debate.

Sabo's analysis of what is problematic for SS depends on understanding how the Republican Congress, beginning in 1995 reduced the interest paid from General Accounts to the Trust Fund on borrowed funds used to cover deficits. It is this deliquency on the part of Congress that needs to become part of the argument.

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