House GOP Hands 2006 Democrats A Gift: Privatization, Part II
I love it when the GOP hands the Democrats the means to take back the House and Senate this November. Just as it may have appeared that the “culture of corruption” blade may have been dulled for this November, a leading GOP representative announces the first target of a new GOP congress in 2007: Privatize Social Security. I kid you not.
Congress should make Social Security overhaul its top priority next year, while a rewrite of the tax code and revamping the nation's healthcare system probably will wait until at least 2009, House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Chairman Jim McCrery, R-La., said today. McCrery said it will take the expiration of tax cuts in 2010 to build enough political support for tax reform, even though President Bush and many Republican lawmakers would like to tackle it sooner. "I think the president wants to do tax reform, and I'm certainly ready to help him do tax reform in '07 and '08. ... Looking at the lay of the land politically and substantively, it seems to me the more logical order would be Social Security, then tax reform, then healthcare reform," he told reporters after addressing the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. McCrery said Congress should take up Social Security first because doing nothing would have "tremendous negative fiscal consequences," and it is easier to solve from a policy standpoint than fixing Medicare and Medicaid. "If we can get [Social Security] done, I think that buys us the political capital to move on to the bigger issues of health care," he said.
Uh huh. Political capital? Next Year? To privatize Social Security, and then blow more holes in the tax code for the wealthy?
Oh please, please talk this up Mr. McCrery, and pass that stuff around, would you? I want the rest of your caucus to talk this up between now and November as well. Make this agenda your talking points on what will happen if the GOP retains control of Congress next year. Talk proudly, and far and wide about this agenda, and make your members sign a pledge to the agenda if they are re-elected. We can call it the “Contract On America” and you guys can drop it on us poor Democrats in late September, like you guys did back in 1994 when Newt and Dick Armey caught us napping and wrested control of Congress from Tom Foley. Please hit us with this.
Except that this time, Rahm Emanuel by then will have plastered every competitive race this summer with McCrery’s remarks and put all vulnerable GOP incumbents into the political gallows for November. While we are at it, why not preempt the GOP and talk up the failings of the Medicare Part D fiasco and our own version of tax reform and a flatter tax structure this fall?
Thanks Mr. McCrery for reintroducing the privatization issue into the midterm elections. You’ll be getting a Christmas card from me.