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Away From Home

Thursday, June 16, 2005

GOP looks to escape private accounts

From MSNBC.com:

With the Senate Finance Committee at an impasse on Social Security and House leaders anxious about moving forward, Republican congressional leaders have told the White House in recent days that it is time to look for an escape route.

. . .

Sen. Robert F. Bennett (R-Utah), a strong advocate of personal accounts, has grown so concerned he has decided to introduce, as early as next week, a bill that will not include the accounts but would reduce the scheduled benefits for all but the bottom 30 percent in terms of income. He will also offer one with the accounts, but he is
focusing on winning over Democrats on a solvency-only plan. "My sense is, let's get solvency going and make the argument for personal accounts on its own merit," he said.

Democrats are unapologetic. Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said voters increasingly see Bush as the impediment to a compromise because the president has stubbornly stuck by a partial privatization proposal that has never gained broad public support. Besides, Emanuel added, after five years of pushing legislation through Congress with virtually no consultation with Democrats, White House officials can hardly complain that the Democrats are not there now.

"They never wanted our votes on a prescription-drug bill. They didn't want our votes on taxes, and now they want it on Social Security?" he said. "Go ahead. Have your party-line vote. We'll see how it turns out."

They're both right. If private accounts are such a fabulous idea (and they're not, as the public has wisely recognized), then let them stand on their own. Good ideas don't need language like "The system will fail without this!" to support them.

Additionally, the White House and Senate GOP are so used to riding roughshod over the wishes of the minority, that they have no right to complain now when Democrats hang together. But now, Bush is stuck, because he's wedded himself so closely to private accounts, but the proposal is destroying his approval ratings.

In politics, as in life, you reap what you sow.


  • Republicans are such morons. This is just so typical of party policy...if something looks like a good idea, drop it, wait awhile, and then blame it on the Dems. I agree, though, that if private accounts really were a good idea there'd be no need for scare tactices. This is just a way of allowing millions of Americans to lose their retirement money to companies that have supported Bush and his fellow Republicans.

    By Blogger Mela, at 6/16/2005 10:10:00 AM  

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