Bush’s Masterful Social Security Strategery

by on February 4th, 2005

President Bush has a plan for reforming Social Security a plan for making it happen, and it would seem a plan for making the Democrats look really bad while he does it. It is a masterpiece of political strategy that will ensure that reform happens and the Republicans hold onto the reins of power after he is out of office.

In his State of the Union Address the President spelled out very clearly why and when the Social Security system will collapse. Many on the opposition side of aisle disagree with the president’s prognosis. They think the system will last a little longer. Whatever the date the collapse of the system is expected in either ideology the president issued a pretty clear challenge when he said “If you’ve got children in their 20s, as some of us do, the idea of Social Security collapsing before they retire does not seem like a small matter. And it should not be a small matter to the United States Congress.”

President Bush has taken his case for Social Security reform on the road. A tried and true method for presidents to drum up popular support for their programs. But his challenge did not end with merely the call to reform. He has put the Democrats on notice that just saying no is not an answer. He has challenged them to come up with a positive idea of their own. He has invited them to choose to be part of the reform process or to sit on the sidelines and sulk.

I have little doubt that Social Security reform will eventually happen. I don’t seriously doubt that the reform will not be some for of what the president has proposed. It kind of sucks for me personally. I am young enough that the reforms would effect me, but old enough that the personal retirement account might not do me much good. Despite that, I support the partial privatization of social security as a good first step.

Stephen Macklin