Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Nussle to the Social Security Democraticgogs...

I am certainly stating the obvious when I say that this rolling Social Security debate is considered the "third rail" of American politics. But a little history on why that is may put this all into context.

Ya'll can read, so I won't summarize the entire history link; short version -- the Democrats have consistently been able to use the issue, nay demagogue on the issue, since Goldwater, and in the 1980s former House Speaker, Tip O'Neil (thanks in part to his astute pressie - Chris Mathews), turned the politicking of Social Security into an art form.

The Congressional Democrats discovered that people, particularly old people, don't like to be frightened with changing benefts. And since a good chunk of them are retired and bored they spend way too much time paying attention to politics, hence the over abundance of senior citizen activists (politicians lov'em when the stuff their envelops but God forbid they should have an opinion). Moreover, the AARP and other left-leaning groups have developed a very clever propaganda machine that keeps the willing informed and agitated.

(Aside) The only reason we have a Medicare drug benefit is that the AARP cut a deal and came on board with the Administration in supporting the program. Unfortunately, given the future benefits/cost structure now being rolled out the issue could come back to bite everyone, including the left-leaning policy leadership, like the AARP guys, in the rear - there isn't enough somethin'-for-nothin' in the new drug benefit for most senior-activists.

So, with the Bush numbers in decline and a third rail on the table, it makes perfect sense that the geniuses out in Washington are pulling out the Tip O'Neil play book and attempting to bludgeon any and all GOP political campaigns with the Social Security rhetoric. The current example is the Washington based, Americans United to Protect Social Security , a Democratic Party supported group, which is starting a "grassroots" effort to get Congressman Nussle "on record" concerning the Bush Administration Social Security plan.

Nussle will finesse the issue and get out of it with what we should be saying:

According to the Social Security Trust Fund 2005 report, Social Security is in trouble and we need to look at any and all options to help fix it. But what makes an honest dialogue on Social Security nearly impossible is the long history of political gamesmanship the Democratic Party has been playing with this issue. They need to stop the political games, and take care of their grandkids futures.
Okay, or something like that...

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