Bush’s Proposal: Slow Death for Social Security

The Washington Post spells it out — Bush’s Social Security proposal from last night’s press conference is designed to curtail Social Security for all but the poor.
On the surface, a Democrat like me might look at this new proposal and say: what gives? The President’s actually looking out for the poor over the rich. But then you have to ask: why? It’s just so…un-Bush-like.
Here’s one theory. By and large, Americans consistently oppose wealth-redistribution. If Social Security morphs into a clear cut wealth-redistribution plan, support for the program among those who get little or nothing out of it will quickly wither.
So now that Republicans have learned that Americans aren’t ready to give up on the program in 2005, how do they kill Social Security over the long-term? A little judo. Turn it into a program that, down the line, the vast majority of voters making over, say, $100K, have a reduced stake in.
It’s just a theory. Or maybe I’m being too cynical and GW really does heart the poor.






3 responses to “Bush’s Proposal: Slow Death for Social Security”

  1. David Kolodney Avatar
    David Kolodney

    It’s only tenuously relavent, but we may bear in mind that the Social Security payroll tax is charged from Dollar 1 of ones earnings, and it is capped at $95,000, so if you earn $10,000 a year, you pay 7%, but if you earn $700,000 a year you pay 1%.

  2. David Kolodney Avatar
    David Kolodney

    This Krugman piece confirms exactly the way you called it earlier.

  3. Cecil Vortex Avatar

    Interesting piece. This closing quote is just brutal:
    “No, this is about ideology: Mr. Bush comes to bury Social Security, not to save it. His goal is to turn F.D.R.’s most durable achievement into an unpopular welfare program, so some future president will be able to attack it with tall tales about Social Security queens driving Cadillacs.”