Sunday :: Feb 27, 2005

Snatching Defeat From the Jaws of Victory, Donkey-Style

by rayman

I know many of you are relaxing on this Sunday morning, perhaps reading the paper, taking the dog out for a walk, or doing whatever wholesome, all-American activity that makes this country great. Having said that, if you want to get your veins pumping, read this WaPo article about a possible Social Security "deal" that's being cooked up in Congress. But I must warn you--if you're pregnant, have a heart condition (or any other serious medical malady) this article may jeopardize your long-term health, so proceed with caution:

In one example, Rep. E. Clay Shaw Jr. (R-Fla.) said, a compromise might involve merging Bush's proposal with plans -- some backed by Democrats -- that create government-subsidized savings plans outside Social Security. Under this scenario, Bush's proposal to divert 4 percent of an individual's Social Security payroll tax would become 2 percent or less.

"The president could claim a real victory just by getting personal accounts," said Shaw, who has shared his ideas with Vice President Cheney and White House senior adviser Karl Rove. "It may be that a hybrid" is the key to compromise.


Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid has declared that Senate Democrats are united in their opposition to personal accounts carved out of Social Security. That is a deal-killer if true, since as a practical matter the most controversial ideas typically need a supermajority of 60 votes to end filibusters and allow a vote. Despite Reid's assertion, however, several moderate Democrats have not ruled out backing a more modest version of the president's plan.

Some of these centrists, such as Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Conn.), have been meeting with Republican colleagues to discuss whether there is a middle ground.

Un-effin'-believable. Anyway, here's my proposal: Instead of hammering home that Social Security is not in crisis (which is so five minutes ago, right?), we should instead be repeating one simple phrase over and over:

There is no compromise.

Sure, we'll hear the inevitable tut-tutting from the David Broders and Nick Kristofs, lamenting the rejectionist Dems who refuse to offer their own "vision" for rescuing Social Security. Screw 'em. Just say it loud, and say it proud: There is no compromise (or "No hay compromiso" for you multilinguists).

rayman :: 6:40 AM :: Comments (30) :: Digg It!