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

Tuesday, June 21, 2005


From the Wall Street Journal, to which you should subscribe if you don't already.

President Encourages Bill That Lacks Private Accounts

Associated Press
June 21, 2005 3:20 p.m.

WASHINGTON -- President Bush encouraged a Republican senator Tuesday to offer Social Security legislation that wouldn't include the private investment accounts that were the centerpiece of the plan Bush has promoted all year.

Mr. Bush's nod to Utah Sen. Bob Bennett comes as public polls show that most Americans don't support the president's handling of the Social Security issue. Congress has been deadlocked on it.

Mr. Bennett said that during a luncheon with other Republican senators at the White House, he told the president of his plans to introduce the bill as early as next week.

See expanded coverage of the debate over Social Security reform, including a primer on private accounts and benefits calculators. Plus: the weekly Social Anxiety looks at the best writing on Social Security and Medicare from around the Web, and our Social Trends charts look at Americans' attitudes on Social Security over the past decade.

"He indicated that I should go forward and do that," Mr. Bennett said. "And I'm grateful to have him do that even though his own preference would be to have personal accounts included."
"I've decided that the Democrats have made it clear that they will not back personal accounts," Mr. Bennett said outside the White House. "And in response to the president's position that let's try to get something done, I will be proposing a bill that does not include personal accounts."
"We've had a lot of interest," he said. "We have a lot of hope that we can use this bill to break the logjam and move forward on Social Security. We'll find out in the weeks to come."

Mr. Bennett said when he told Mr. Bush of his plans, "He just said, 'I like your bill.' Period."

This despite the fact that the "internals" on social security polling show that it's the current beneficiaries of Soshsecurity that oppose PRAs (but won't be affected by them) and that younger voters (ie future voters) are all for them.

And what does social security reform look like without PRAs? Higher retirement ages (new retirement at 72), increased payroll taxes, and/or benefit cuts. This is kicking the problem down the road for future generations...

But hey, there is some a silver lining... The first 150 days of this presidency have been productive, despite all of the conventional wisdom.

... and I think perhaps Bush/Rove might be setting up Bennet to be the untenable alternative to his plan. Ok, the Dem's won't put a friggin' plan in place, so we'll propose one that ostensibly is what they'd have to do... And I'll do the compare/contrast thingy and show that PRAs are the wave of the future.

You heard it here first - it's Another Rovian Conspiracy!

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler