Wednesday :: Feb 16, 2005

Democrats' Truth Squad Pushback Forces Bush To Backtrack On Social Security Taxes

by Steve

If you wanted proof that the Democrats were successfully adopting the Truth Squad concept in beating back Bush’s effort to privatize and cut Social Security, read this assessment in today’s "The Note" from ABC’s political unit:

The White House famously bypasses the filter of the national media to project its message to specific audiences in specific states. But Democrats, led by the Susan McCue-Jim Manley war room, are leaving their own mark on local coverage of the President's Social Security tour.
They did a fine job of helping to position stories ahead of President Bush's visit to Nebraska and Florida last week, and judging by some of the coverage in New Hampshire, they're similarly engaged.
The New Hampshire Democratic Party's permanent campaign continues with a rally tomorrow and with judiciously distributed talking points furnished by the national party. The rally, timed to counter Bush's visit directly, is being organized by the party and allies, like the Alliance for Retired Americans.

The aggressiveness of the Democrats’ pushback campaign is paying dividends already. It was revealed a short while ago that Bush backtracked on his opposition to raising taxes to help pay for shoring up Social Security yesterday when he told a group of regional newspapers that he would consider raising the current $90,000 cap on earnings subject to Social Security payroll taxation. Bush also admitted yesterday that the private accounts he is pushing “don’t fix the system.” However, no one should rush to celebrate because if all Bush is willing to discuss is raising the income ceiling to help pay for private accounts, then we are still seeing a willingness by Bush to undermine the system itself. Raising the income ceiling can bring in enough money to address much of the system’s solvency problems by itself.

Bush has his work cut out for himself wherever he travels. In New Hampshire for example, support for the Bush plan plummets to 19% when respondents are told that it would mean a loss of benefits when the stock market dropped. And traveling around to screened and friendly Stepford audiences of true believers, or having GOP representatives do town hall meetings with DVD’s of Bush spreading the gospel again on a proposal that’s sinking like a rock isn’t going to cut it either.

Message to Dems: Keep up those Truth Squad activities, and now let’s start the campaign from the DCCC to target vulnerable GOP incumbents with the Social Security issue.

Steve :: 11:57 AM :: Comments (44) :: Digg It!