February 27, 2005
WALK A MILE FOR A CAMEL'S NOSE UNDER THE TENT:
GOP May Seek a Deal on Accounts: Anxious Lawmakers Negotiate With Democrats on Social Security Changes (John F. Harris and Jim VandeHei, February 27, 2005, Washington Post)
As described in interviews, most of these compromises would involve Bush significantly scaling back his proposals for restructuring the popular benefits program. In exchange, he could still claim an incremental victory on what he has described as his core principles: enhancing the long-term solvency of Social Security and giving younger Americans options to invest more of their retirement money.
In one example, Rep. E. Clay Shaw Jr. (R-Fla.) said, a compromise might involve merging Bush's proposal with plans -- some backed by Democrats -- that create government-subsidized savings plans outside Social Security. Under this scenario, Bush's proposal to divert 4 percent of an individual's Social Security payroll tax would become 2 percent or less.
"The president could claim a real victory just by getting personal accounts," said Shaw, who has shared his ideas with Vice President Cheney and White House senior adviser Karl Rove. "It may be that a hybrid" is the key to compromise.
Meanwhile, Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) said that he is discussing with Democratic colleagues a compromise plan that would guarantee low-income beneficiaries will do better under a new program than the existing system, even if this increases the program's cost.
White House officials said Bush is open to such a compromise and will continue to signal this publicly in the days ahead.
Just get the concept in place and make sure that earnings from personal accounts are counted against your eventual SS entitlement and it is a massive victory. You can jigger the numbers in 2007, once the Senate is 60-40. Posted by Orrin Judd at February 27, 2005 9:23 AM