ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Rope A Dope

At least, that's how I'd describe BushRove's strategy RE Social Security reform. It appears that the first salvo was over whether SoshSecurity had problems... While Bush was making the push in that area, initial ideas were floated about how to fix it. The Dems and the beltway media seized on these arguments and attacked them, letting Bush win the "SoshSecurity is unsustainable argument" (although, as I've pointed out here and here, any three year old can see that, so perhaps we shouldn't jump for joy that 71% of people now recognize that fact).

Byron York has an interesting article today at NRO.

Yet inside the same Post poll, there is news that 56 percent of those surveyed say they would support "a plan in which people who chose to could invest some of their Social Security contributions in the stock market," which is the centerpiece of the president's still-to-be-unveiled Social Security proposal. Forty-one percent say they would oppose such a plan, while three percent have no opinion.

The 56-percent support figure — 60 percent and higher among respondents under 50 years of age — is the highest level of support on that question in the last six Post polls going back before the 2000 election. The 41-percent figure is the lowest level of opposition in the last six Post polls going back before the 2000 election.

The Post also found that 71 percent of those polled believe that, if changes are not made, the Social Security system "is heading for a crisis down the road" — a perception that the president's advisers call a "precondition to authentic reform."
[...]
"What people have been doing is judging Bush on things he hasn't been doing," says the Republican pollster David Winston. "Bush has just wanted to establish that there is a serious problem with Social Security, and he's done that. He hasn't really been trying to engage, the 'what's the best solution' question, although I think you're seeing him enter that phase now. But they want to judge him on how well people like his plan, which doesn't yet exist."
While bush is winning that argument, the Dems are attacking a plan that doesn't exist, not hearing Bush "call them out," asking for any and all ideas to be on the table. The Dems counter with "only increased taxes or reduction in benefits is on the table," which can't sound good to anyone, those paying into the system right now, nor those currently receiving benefits.

As a Bush plan begins to take shape, the criticism will increase. And the Dems will not have any plan to counter with, at least not one that is palatable. They'll look like the uberpartisans that they are, since this isn't the first issue that they've been obstructionist on without any alternative to put forward. I think that the country is much more sophisticated financially than it's been since FDR (despite our failing education system) and I think that if it were up to those 50 and younger, the end result wouldn't be in doubt - you wouldn't be talking about a measely 3-6%... they'd want to invest the whole kit & kaboodle.

***UPDATE***
Forgot to mention... all the while that the Dems are attacking bush on soshsecurity, he gets tort reform passed, bankruptcy reform, and heck... maybe even ANWR!

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler