Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Social Security “more at risk than it was in 2005”? Really?

The Hill reports that Democratic congressmen and liberal activists are concerned that President Obama will cut a deal with Republicans on Social Security reform, producing a package that would cut benefits for future retirees. Apparently the Left is really concerned:

Maria Freese of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare said she thinks Social Security is "more at risk than it was in 2005," when President Bush proposed far-reaching changes to the program, including personal accounts. The plan was vigorously opposed by Democrats and liberal groups and never came up for a vote in Congress. 

Ok, I can see there's some danger that Obama, looking to his own re-election prospects, will tack to the middle by compromising with Congressional Republicans to produce a big achievement they can both tout to voters.

But is this really a bigger risk for liberals than 2005, when a newly re-elected President Bush and a GOP-controlled House and Senate sought to fix Social Security without any new revenues AND with personal accounts? President Obama is, after all, a pretty liberal guy and the Senate still is under Democratic control.

But this does reflect what I've noted before as a liberal lack of confidence on Social Security: while endlessly repeating how much everyone loves and values the program (evil conservatives excepted, of course), they also seem convinced that pretty much any legislative fix will end up gutting the program. Either our representative government functions really poorly or they may not think Americans support higher taxes for Social Security quite as much as the Left does.

1 comment:

Arne said...

No one (being reported on) seems willing to suggest that if we want to live longer in retirement, we should pay more while we are working. That makes the possibility of a one-sided compromise a real risk.