Thursday, February 03, 2005

As I have tried to convince some of the Republican leaning folks in my life, the Republican position on Social Security is about ideology and politics, not about fiscal solvency or protecting retirees. Now the Administration itself has proven my point.
Via Josh Marshall's blog:
From today's LA Times top story, referenced in the Note, an anonymous white house source said:

"White House officials say they are confident that congressional skepticism will dissipate once the president persuades a majority of the public that action is needed to extend the life of the retirement program, a process Bush was scheduled to begin today by taking his Social Security message on the road."

a couple paragraphs later:

"In a significant shift in his rationale for the accounts, Bush dropped his claim that they would help solve Social Security's fiscal problems — a link he sometimes made during last year's presidential campaign. Instead, he said the individual accounts were desirable because they would be "a better deal," providing workers what he said would be a higher rate of return and "greater security in retirement."

A Bush aide, briefing reporters on the condition of anonymity, was more explicit, saying that the individual accounts would do nothing to solve the system's long-term financial problems."
This shifting, morphing message on Social Security is going to burn someone. Most likely the Republicans. As the article also mentions, the Republicans may be more aware of this than they let on.
That candid analysis, although widely shared by economists, distressed some Republicans.

"Oh, my God," one GOP political strategist said when he learned of the shift in rhetoric. "The White House has made a lot of Republicans walk the plank on this. Now it sounds as if they are sawing off the board."
The light is shining in on this debate. Perhaps it will finally become clear that the only real principle in this administration is winning. If you have to lie cheat and threaten, then so be it.

Between the exposure of the SS dishonesty, the repeal of the DeLay rule, and the removal of ethics committee members who actually displayed ethical principles in action, perhaps the modern Republican party will be exposed for what it really is, a party divorced from the principles it claims to represent and adrift on a sea of malfeasance.

No comments: