Tuesday :: Mar 8, 2005

Democrats: Be Clear On Social Security - It's A Moral Values Question


by Steve

Dan Balz of the Washington Post has a hand-wringing story today about how the Democrats are being told by Stan Greenberg and James Carville that they are in trouble on Social Security because they haven’t told the public what they stand for.

Oh please, make these guys stop. I am sick and tired of hearing from Carville and Greenberg with these warnings. If you guys are this smart, then pick up the phone and talk with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid about this and offer your assistance in putting together this message instead of doing these releases publicly to toot your horn.

Aside from that, there is saliency in their observation that the Democrats haven’t woven their position on Social Security into an overall narrative, which I think can be done with an emphasis on moral values. As I said in a post yesterday, Democrats can clearly take the position that they will fight any effort that undermines the safety net provided to seniors and the disabled by Social Security. As such, Democrats can say easily that:

1. Changes to the existing program will be the basis for restoring solvency, such as increasing the payroll tax ceiling, changing the indexing of benefits, and limiting the benefits paid to the wealthy.

2. Anything that undermines the solvency of the current program and forces back-door benefit cuts will be opposed, such as paying for private accounts through diverted payroll taxes.

3. Any private account feature will be an add-on to the current program only, and not a replacement for it. Private accounts must be paid for without debt, without payroll taxes, and with identified sources of revenue.

4. If Bush wants private accounts, he has an obligation to say how he would pay for them. Democrats can specify how they would pay for them after seeing Bush step out there himself.

5. Show us your plan, Mr. Bush.

That’s it; that can be the Democrats’ position on Social Security. And if they are smart, Democrats will weave this into a larger narrative on the moral values involved in protecting the safety net from those who supported deficit-inducing tax cuts who now want to use the deficits they created as the excuse for shredding that safety net and enriching their bottom lines.

Steve :: 8:23 AM :: Comments (71) :: Digg It!