It looks like some people don't know how to take "Hell, no!" for an answer. Despite the fact that the drive to privatize Social Security was the political lead balloon of 2005, President Bush and his supporters in Congress are determined to renew the push after the coming election.
(Note: though a devoted Melville fan, El Cabrero will resist the temptation to compare the administration's ideological fixation to the monomania of Captain Ahab in Moby-Dick out of sincere admiration for the latter.)
In a late June speech to the Manhattan Institute, President Bush said,
If we can't get it done this year, I'm going to try next year. And if we can't get it done next year, I'm going to try the year after that because it is the right thing to do. Now is the time to solve the problems of Medicare and Social Security.
Last month, House Majority Leader John Boehner promised that "If I'm around in a leadership role come January, we're going to get serious about this."
New Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson has likewpledgedeged to support the push to privatization. In his first official speech in that capacity at the Columbia Business School, he told his audience,
I have always tried to live by the philosophy that when there is a big problem that needs fixing, you should run towards it, rather than away from it.
The AFL-CIO notes that
...Bush included a request in his proposed fiscal 2007 budget for $721 billion over the next 10 years to turn Social Security into a system of private accounts with lower guaranteed benefits to Americans. Bush's proposal includes significant cuts in guaranteed benefits for the vast majority of Social Security recipients through the indexing of initial benefits to prices, rather than wages.
This is just as bad an idea this year as it was last year. It may well be Reason 9,872 not to sleep through November.
In the meantime, a line from Dylan comes to mind:
An' here I sit so patiently
Waiting to find out what price
You have to pay to get out of
Going through all these things twice.
GOAT ROPE ADVISORY LEVEL: ELEVATED