Social Security Tidbits

March 7, 2005

I wrote last week about my disappointment that some in the administration had indicated that private accounts might be negotiable. That was deeply troubling to me, or as Tom Daschle might say, “I was deeply saddened.”

Actually, thought, I wasn’t saddened, but disgusted at the thought that Republicans, though in the majority, might be willing to throw the towel in already on a critical component of President Bush’s agenda. But…

Today I read in NBC’s “First Read” that

The White House is willing to compromise so long as any compromise includes private accounts.

Now, that’s more like it. But, then again, there’s still recalcitrant, obstructionist Dems to contend with. First Read continues:

Congressional Democrats are willing to deal on tax increases and benefit cuts so long as private accounts are off the table.

I suppose that’s a step forward from where Nancy Pelosi left it a week or so ago, when she basically said “Everything’s negotiable, except our demands.” In other words, “Nothing’s negotiable.”

First Read goes on to raise an interesting question — to my surprise:

We’ll repeat what we suggested on Friday: Democrats are totally stoked by the effectiveness of their opposition to private accounts. But will they spot a moment, if there is one, at which the public is looking for a break in the impasse? Again, if Democrats succeed in stymieing the President’s efforts and nothing happens on a program which a majority of Americans agree is in some degree of trouble, and Democrats themselves have vowed election year after election year to protect, what kind of victory will they have to tout?

Which, to me, raises the larger question: Just what is it that Democrats stand for anymore, other than proudly interfering with Republican momentum or action of any kind?

And then there’s Chuck Hagel, RINO Senator with presidential aspirations who is going to unveil his proposal to raise the retirement age by a year and allow people below age 45 to set up private accounts. Why the arbitrary cut off age for this choice? I haven’t read yet how the White House is reacting to Senator Hagel’s officiousness, or even if they view him as intermeddling.