Wednesday, June 22, 2005

What If You Threw A Bipartisan Commission And....

The Washington Post editorializes that the Democrats should somehow, magically, forge a bipartisan initiative to resolve the long-term financial viability of Social Security.
But there is also the little matter of what's right for the country. Failing to act now will make the problem harder to fix down the road; cuts or tax increases will have to be steeper the longer the problem goes unaddressed. ... Democratic lawmakers keep insisting that they take the Social Security problem seriously and want to deal with it. This seems a good time to start.
Unless I missed something, Bush has not reached out to the Democrats and invited them to participate in an effort to reach a bipartisan plan for the future of Social Security. He has been much more consumed with dismissing any criticism of a plan, even as he declines to give specifics, while pressuring Republican representatives to sign on to his plan and attempting (rather unsuccessfully) to sell his plan directly to the American people, so that he can avoid negotiating over details. In terms of negotiation, the available evidence suggests that Bush views "everything I want" as the starting and ending point. If the Democrats offer any plan which gives Bush an inch, he'll take it - and then castigate the Dems for not giving him a mile. So where's the upside for the Dems in proposing reform plans which will never be adopted by the Bush Administration, but will instead be used to advance the distortion, "you voted for it before you voted against it", to obtain compromise at no cost?

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