Wednesday, January 26, 2005

starve in the cold if you live too long accounts

Matt is right:
The only way to get the media to refer to private accounts as "private accounts" is if the media is convinced that "private accounts" is a neutral third-way term between the Bushian "personal accounts" and some other Democratic alternative term.

Dennis is funny:
At some stage the slow transformation of Bush administration rhetoric will reach its final destination, and, drunk with power, Scott McClellan will insist that the press refer to Republican Social Security plans only as "orgasmaccounts."


Blue said...

Sigh. We are not going to let old people starve. It is politically unfeasible. They vote too much, have too many people that care for them and will vote based on it, and engender too much empathy. It's why we instituted SS in the first place.

Which is what is unacknowledged by SS reform by both sides. We will bail out the losers. As a country, we do not have the political willpower not to. Democrats concerned about playing up the personal costs don't mention this, and Republicans concerned about playing the economic efficiency of this don't mention it either. Both sides also are pretty unable to talk about how stupid some investors will be or how easily-pressured the government is (or how starving seniors are just that to politicians, a "pressure").

Now, what form bailing out will take, how much it will cost, how much it will distort the program and various motives involved, A) I have no clue, B) is probably a really important facet, and C) any good "libertarian" who supports this plan should seriously think about.

Blue said...

I should put the last part in context. Social Security Reform will happen. If we know anything about this administration, it's that they don't take no for an answer. Do we seriously believe that the administration is really going to be spending this much capital, and not be able to keep a majority in both houses in line?

Neil pointed out that as this is a largely legislative action, there will be less room for executive malfeasance and scandal than the Iraq War and other issues. Democrat political strategy at this point should be focused on looking good once the act is in effect, not trying to prevent it. I think one of the major things after its enactment that will be an easy target is the bailout of various companies with SS funds. What do you think?

Neil Sinhababu said...

You're right that some secondary support system is going to eventually built to pick up those who fall through Bush's system. It's just that "starve in the cold if you live too long accounts" sounds better than "we have to build an expensive new system so that you don't starve in the cold if you live too long accounts." If Bush isn't going to be explicit about needing to build the secondary system, I'm going to be explicit about the consequences of not building it.

Maybe I've been drinking too much of the Josh Marshall Kool-aid, but I really think we have a good shot at winning this one. Unlike the President, Republicans in Congress have to face re-election. If there's any issue on which the Democratic brand is stronger than the Republican brand, it's Social Security. If we deny the Republicans bipartisan support, things start to look more like a GOP plan to subvert Social Security for the benefit of Wall Street. If I were a Republican in Congress, voting for this thing would make me real worried about re-election.

Blue said...

You may be right about the political risk of this, which is why it's as early as possible. That being said, the republican party these days is utterly defined by the White House leadership. Yes they want re-election, but only in that it furthers the goals for the white house.

I'd bet $20 on 2-1 odds that it will pass the House. Now the Senate I admit is trickier, but they don't have nearby re-election, so they can probably get it through.

Josh, Kos, Texiera, etc, lots of kool aid.

Mary said...
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