Tuesday :: Mar 15, 2005

GOP Senators Go On Record Favoring Deep Benefit Cuts And Massive Increases In Debt To Privatize Social Security

by Steve

This afternoon, as the beginning of the debate on Social Security, the Senate attempted to draft and pass a resolution that would serve as the guidepost for future deliberations. Senator Bill Nelson of Florida offered an amendment that said quite simply:

To express the sense of the Senate that Congress should reject any Social Security plan that requires deep benefit cuts or a massive increase in debt.

Harry Reid was able to get the entire Senate Democratic caucus to hold together and vote in favor of the above principle on what turned out to be a 50-50 vote, and better yet, five Republicans joined with Democrats on the principle that whatever is done on Social Security should not incur deep benefit cuts or a massive increase in debt. The five Republicans were Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine, Mike DeWine of Ohio, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania. These 49 senators were joined by James Jeffords of Vermont.

But 50 GOP senators could not bring themselves to reject deep benefit cuts or massive increases in debt in order to privatize Social Security. Not only does this forever tag these GOP senators as being fiscally irresponsible, but it also tags them as being hostile to Social Security.

Of these GOP Senators, the following are up for re-election next year:

Jon Kyl, Arizona
Richard Lugar, Indiana
Trent Lott, Mississippi
Jim Talent, Missouri
John Ensign, Nevada
Rick Santorum, Pennsylvania
Lincoln Chafee, Rhode Island
Orrin Hatch, Utah
George Allen, Virginia
Craig Thomas, Wyoming

Of these, Lugar, Lott, Hatch, and perhaps Thomas are not in danger next year no matter what. In a manner befitting of Rove himself, the rest of these GOP senators, especially Chafee, Talent, Santorum, and Allen should be targeted right now by the DSCC with radio and newspaper ads pointing out to voters in those states that their incumbent GOP senator refused to reject deep benefit cuts and massive new debt in order to privatize Social Security.

Steve :: 4:03 PM :: Comments (18) :: Digg It!