The Corner

Social Security

“I think that at the end of the day [Bush] will get a deal,” says Z. “It will not have private savings account in it, but he will get a deal.” X and Z lay out similar scenarios: Republicans give up, at least temporarily, on personal accounts, in return taking tax increases off the table. The only thing left is cuts in future benefits—probably progressive ones. A deal like that, they think, might be able to peel off a few Democrats who have conceded that Social Security faces a serious problem. Both parties will get a victory: Democrats will be able to say they have stopped private accounts (at least for now) and Republicans that they have “saved Social Security.” Republicans will live to fight another day. Y seems to think the president could still prevail with a plan that includes private accounts.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.


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