Monday, February 07, 2005

Reality is Partisan

My attempts to get this catchphrase to take off haven't really worked so far.

Anyway, just read a fascinating article by Donald Lambro, which puts the Conservative Argument into perspective. He presents evidence (after a fashion), that shows that Democrats have to give in on the Social Security issue.
A Zogby poll last month of more than 1,000 likely voters found that 30 percent of Democrats said they liked the idea [President bushes private accounts . . .

An Annenberg poll in December found that 54 percent of Hispanics supported the concept of "allowing workers to invest Social Security funds in the stock market." . . .

Zogby found that 58 percent of workers younger than 50, the target group for Bush's plan, support it. That number rises to 61 percent among workers under 30. . . .

Most Americans do not believe the system is in "crisis," as some have said, but Zogby found that 61 percent correctly believe it faces "serious problems" and needs "major changes."
All this support and President Bush has yet to actually put his plan on the table. I guess we Democrats should look at these polls and immediately cave. I mean if the American people favor President Bush's phase out of Security Social (based on polls commissioned by the Libertarian CATO institute), well, there's little point trying to change peoples minds. Or is there?

What's striking about this article is how little actual argument there is. Instead, Mr. Lambro seems content to just run down polling numbers as if those were a suitable substitute for a good counter argument.

The truth is Paul Krugman, Joshua Michah Marshall, and others have put forward well reasoned critiques of President Bush's plan to push us in this direction. The Republican response is largely to talk about polls and warn that Democrats are out of step with the American people. If they have counter arguments, why aren't they presenting them?

Oh wait, Lambro does have a fact or two. I guess I should give credit where credit is due.
In fact, Social Security trustees, the Congressional Budget Office and the General Accounting Office (Congress' auditing agency) all agree that the retirement fund is in deep trouble. It will begin running a deficit in 2018. By 2027, the annual deficit will be over $200 billion a year; by 2033, over $300 billion.
Oh my, that sounds pretty bad when you take it completely out of context. That huge a deficit--I guess the only solution to a budget deficit of billions is to set up a Personal Account system that will cost trillions.

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