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Social Security and The Democrats


Ryan Lizza has a very interesting article on the subject. What I’m posting about here is the quote he uses as his closer. It’s from James Carville to a Senate Democrat in charge of stopping a Bush-style reform: “You’re the only thing standing in between Democrats and the abyss.” This seems to be a widespread view. The underlying argument seems to be that if retirement depends less on checks from the government and more on private investment, government (and thus the party of government) will be less important to people. I have probably contributed my small part to this conventional wisdom myself.

Let’s assume, here, that the long-term result of reform would be a shift away from statism among voters. This is obviously a debatable assumption, although I myself believe it. Would it necessarily result in a shift away from the Democrats? Or would the Democrats themselves become sufficiently market-friendly to maintain near-parity in national politics? I suspect that the answer is the latter, and that reform has more to offer conservatives than it does to Republicans.