The Babe Theory Of Political Movements.
Mar. 21, 2005 11:50 AM
Iran's Sham Election In Houston.
June 20, 2005 5:36 AM
Yes, Kanye, Bush Does Care.
Oct. 31, 2005 12:41 AM
Health Care vs. Wealth Care.
Nov. 23, 2005 3:28 PM
Americans Voting With Their Feet.
Nov. 30, 2005 1:33 PM
Idea Majorities Matter.
May 12, 2006 6:15 PM
Twilight Zone Economics.
Oct. 17, 2006 12:30 AM
The "Shrinking" Middle Class.
Dec. 13, 2006 1:01 PM
From Ashes, GOP Opportunities.
Dec. 18, 2006 6:37 PM
Battle Between Entitlements & Pork.
Dec. 21, 2006 12:31 PM
Let Economic Freedom Reign.
Dec. 22, 2006 10:22 PM
Biggest Health Care Moment In Decades.
July 25, 2007 4:32 PM
Unions Antithetical to Liberty.
May 28, 2008 11:12 PM
Right To Work States Rock.
June 9, 2008 12:25 PM
Social Security Reform Thursday.
March 13, 2008
Caption Contest: Enter Today!
Due: July 29, 2008
The Carnival Of Classiness.
Mar. 14, 2006
Quotational Therapy: Obama.
Apr. 4, 2008
Mainstream Melee: Wolfowitz.
May 19, 2007
Pundit Roundtable: Leaks.
July 9, 2006
A WILLisms.com(ic), by Ken McCracken
July 14, 2006
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A Reinvigorated Case For Social Security Reform.
The case for reforming Social Security has begun to sputter, stalling out somewhat for the time being.
Young people, who get much of their news from Comedy Central's The Daily Show and MTV News, are too apathetic to fight for reform, while old people (the group that actually votes) are too susceptible to demagoguery and underhanded rumormongering by groups like AARP. There is a lot of misinformation out there right now, put out by Democrats and their interest groups.
President Bush decided that by stating a few broad principles for reform, he could first win the public over, then get into the nitty-gritty of an actual bill. Unfortunately, with no actual bill on the table, there has been a vacuum effect, in which Democrats like former Michigan State Trooper turned U.S. Representative Bart Stupak, for example (he's just one of many), can create a strawman bill for his constituents, scaring them about "Bush's plan." Another tactic of the Democrats has been to throw up non-sequiturs and red herrings about a potential loss of disability benefits (which would not change at all under any reform proposal out there today), or about raising the retirement age further (which is one of the very things good reform would prevent from happening), or about the government taking the Social Security money out of the mythical "trust fund" and investing it in "Enron," all ideas intended to confuse the muddle the debate.
Meanwhile, squeamish Republicans, even the President himself, have been busy negotiating with themselves.
Democrats have convinced much of the public that "there is no crisis," and even if there is one, it doesn't hit us until 2042 or some other far away number.
Thus, reform has stalled. For now.
But it is by no means dead, as it is entirely necessary for the long-term economic health of the United States. Polls do show that under 10% of Americans believe that Social Security is "not in trouble." Americans are just a little worried about the untrue things they've heard about reform. Nearly 3 out of 5 Americans said they need more information about the reform proposal. A new poll shows that younger voters urgently want Social Security reform, and by large margins (about 2/3 of those 18-29 want reform).
Thus, people are playing a game of wait and see, and in the meantime, reform of Social Security, a program created by Democrats, is being torn apart in the mainstream media, a forum dominated by Democrats. In other words, the game has been played entirely on the Democrats' turf thus far, with the Democrats' own equipment and referees paid off by the Democrats.
If the President and other reformers can produce a concrete proposal that destroys the myths out there today, addressing all the concerns people have about "privatization," explaining more forcefully that the new system would be as safe as the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) federal employees enjoy today, they can still win over the public. They must, because it is that crucial to the very functioning of American society over the longterm.
The President also needs to give all of those loyal and devoted Bush/Cheney 2004 volunteers, who have remained ready to jump into action, specific and meaningful tasks.
WILLisms.com is confident that Social Security reform will pass. It just needs a reinvigorated case.
The Wall Street Journal starts the process of selling reform to the public anew:
"Part of the problem is that Mr. Bush and his spokesmen have been promoting reform more as a kind of national forced march than as a great new opportunity for individuals to build and control their own retirement nest eggs.
Ultimately, the debate must not get bogged down in minutiae. It has to be about ideas. And senior citizens must realize that the reform will be entirely optional, and nothing about their precious Social Security will ever change for them. When the debate is framed in terms of providing people more options, more personal choice (yet giving people only safe options, so they don't "lose their money in Vegas"), when people realize the reform would keep the safety net for our elderly intact, and indeed expand wealth and quality of life, the reform proposals will pick up steam.
The largest advantage reformers have right now is that the facts are on their side. Sure, they have been mangled and distorted so far, but if reformers embark on a 5-or-6-week-long process of educating the public, dispelling the erroneous Democrat-floated myths, there is no way the American people, faced with the facts, cannot support reform of Social Security. No reform is a lose-lose proposition, while reforming it (the right way, not reform for its own sake) is a win-win.
"Is Social Security a problem? Does it need to be fixed?
And one last thing:
Posted by Will Franklin · 3 March 2005 10:24 AM