Tuesday, August 31, 2010

WSJ: Obama’s Social Security Bait and Switch

The Wall Street Journal opines this morning on which President Obama will show up regarding Social Security reform: the one – sorry, The One – who wants reform to happen even if it takes cajoling his own party, or the one who'll wield Social Security as a last-gasp club to hold off electoral disaster in the fall?

On the one hand, Mr. Obama has charged his deficit commission with crafting a bipartisan plan to restrain entitlements. "Everything's on the table. That's how this thing's going to work," he said when he created the commission in February. "We now have to, in a gradual way, reduce spending, particularly on those big ticket items" like Social Security, he later added in Racine, Wisconsin. "That's going to be our project for the next couple years."

Yet even as Mr. Obama beseeches Republicans, he and his political allies are playing the Social Security card for all it's worth in this campaign season. This has all the earmarks of a political bait and switch designed to ambush Republicans if they're gullible enough to believe his bipartisan pleas.

Check it out here.

As I've argued previously, the administration has to make a choice. They can't expect Republican cooperation on Social Security reform after the election if they treat the issue cynically before the election.

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