the blog of DC Drinking Liberally

October 31, 2005

Post Wants Democratic Surrender on Social Security


Recently Matt Yglesias was wondering what happened to the supposed Social Security crisis. Only a few months ago, the press was full of the idea that something must be done, immediately, and Democrats couldn’t afford to be the “Party of No” and simply oppose Bush ideas for “reform” (really phaseout) of the system. When Bush utterly failed to sell his plan to the American people, the media suddenly stopped talking about the “crisis” entirely, so how serious could their concern have been?

Unfortunately Yglesias spoke too soon. It will probably be lost in the uproar over the Alito nomination (the huge dark cloud that goes with the silver lining of the failure of Miers), but the Washington Post editorial board today decided to revive the idea of the Social Security crisis:

The Bush administration’s declining fortunes have buried the prospect of Social Security reform. Congress was never keen: Democrats united against personal accounts; Republicans were divided as to what sort they wanted. But although President Bush’s critics may celebrate this defeat, delaying Social Security’s reform makes the eventual change only harder. Both sides should acknowledge their contributions to this debacle — and reengage.

This is madness. The Democrats won decisively on the issue of Social Security, and now that Bush has lost the Post wants them to go back and compromise with him? Perhaps the system needs reform, but there’s no rush. If reform is needed, it’s better to wait until the White House and both houses of Congress are not controlled by a party that is opposed to the very existence of Social Security.

Update (7:25 pm): Yglesias noticed this post and wrote a followup over at TPMCafe.


  1. I thought it was bad strategy for the Democrats to become the party of “no” on Social Security reform, but it may have been the only way to prevent reforms that would hurt the poor and middle class. The Post is utterly naive if they think any Democrat is going to return to this issue. The White House doesn’t even want to go back down that road.

    I think you are right, wait until we have either a bipartisan government (Dem Congress/GOP Executive or vice versa) or better yet wait until a rejuvenated Democratic PArty takes control of Washington.

    Jason Bradfield10:24 pm, November 1

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