posted on Dec, 8 2004 @ 04:14 AM
Republicans and the Bush administration are bleeding badly on Social Security from scores of self-inflicted wounds by some members of Congress, as
well as low-level staffers and political appointees who can't see beyond their green eyeshades. By insisting that any reform of Social Security
involving the creation of personal retirement accounts must be accompanied by benefit cuts, tax increases and/or hikes in the retirement age, these
Washington functionaries are draining personal accounts of their vitality, jeopardizing Social Security reform and ultimately endangering the
Republican congressional majority.
Tom Davis, R-Va., has gone so far as to announce that the president has a problem getting this through. Furthermore, Davis estimates that roughly 30
House Republicans, including himself, are inclined to oppose Social Security reform - more than enough defections to scuttle legislation and certainly
enough to embolden "do-nothing" Democrats to dig in their heels, which is precisely what they are doing.
Rather than John Kerry's defeat enticing some courageous Moynihan Democrats to step to the fore on Social Security, Republican pandering on tax
increases, limiting the size of personal accounts, cutting benefits and raising the retirement age have only emboldened Democrats to adopt a
head-in-the-sand attitude on Social Security. Word is circulating that Democrats now have visions of turning personal retirement accounts into
President Bush's "HillaryCare." Who can blame them? When they smell weakness within Republican ranks, even thoughtful Democrats can't be blamed
for calculating they can let the Republicans self-destruct, deprive Bush of the credit for reforming Social Security and come back in four years to
take credit themselves.