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View Diary: Top GOoPer says Bush's plan is dead (121 comments)

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  •  Not. (none)
    The logic (or lack thereof) that dictates a politician should not criticize someone else's plan without offering an alternative is pure malarky.

    This is the same line they used against Kerry (and Dean et al) whenever they dared to criticize the misAdministration's Iraq policy.

    "Oh, the Democrats can complain, but do they offer any solutions?!?"

    For one, the party in power won't allow any of the Democrats' solutions to even get to the floor for a vote. When you are a minority party, it is in your best interest to first and foremost point out the major flaws of the ruling party's proposed policies. It's simply the only way to draw attention to the matter.

    For two, the solution to the SS non-crisis is common sense. It doesn't take a world class economist like Krugman to figure out the obvious (but it does lend credibility to the opposition's argument).

    A minimal tax increase (or even better, a return to Clinton-era tax rates) would cover the cost of making the program fully soluble for another 50 years, if not more.

    •  Sorta Right, Sorta Wrong... A few more thoughts... (none)
      First of all -- a disclaimer.  Please don't misunderstand where I'm coming from.  I worked the polls for Kerry and spent most of October in the field.  I am a die hard, union-card wielding, granola crunching, Dean-Loving, Liberal.  And I see a lot in these responses that I agree with.  

      Among members of the public, there is the perception that Social Security is in trouble.  

      Stop.  Re-read that last sentence.    

      Ultimately, which set of numbers is "true" doesn't really matter.  Is the system going belly-up in 2042?  Does paying benefits begin eating into discretionary spending in 2024?  Does our uber-economist disagree with theirs?  Perception is political reality.    

      Don't play this game.  We lose.  

      Listening to the Sunday talk show circuit, the only conclusion you can come to is that we don't know.  We know that we don't know.  Faced with economic uncertainty a prudent person would takes steps to avert any future problems.  This just makes sense.  And because of miracle of compound interest, small changes now make a huge difference later.  

      Even smart, educated, and fair people disagree about the numbers.  And that's fine.  But what do you do when your Party's response to a potentially serious problem is to do nothing?      

      George Bush and the Republican Party tend to do nothing when confronted with evidence that their policies are a disaster waiting to happen.  Iraq.  Global warming.  The pathetic initial response to the tsunami.  Do I even need to say "Bring It On"?  

      We roundly condemn them for this head-in-the-sand stuff on a regular basis.  As well we should.  So why make the same mistake?  We give away political points every time we say "everything is fine.  You're just overreacting.  Go home and we'll take care of you."  

      The American people know it just ain't so.  

      Whether a given voter reads the NY Times article someone thoughtfully linked to, or just listens to the talk at the local barber shop, voters know the system is broken.  Or they know that the system might be broken.  Either way, by abandoning the Reform mantle, we are letting the Republicans win.  We need to be out there aggressively fighting for something.  Fighting for nothing never works.  

      If there truly was no validity to the Administration's arguments then taking the case to the American people that the Republicans are needlessly monkeying with Social Security would be a powerful argument.  But, like it or not, there is at least some validity to their arguments and the voters sense that.  Disagree about the magnitude of the crisis all you want, but it's very tough to make the case that everything is peachy.  Seriously, are any of you willing to stand up and truthfully argue that the system is fine as it is?  

      Make the argument that it'd be better to fix the system in 20 years if you want, but personally, I find the put off till tomorrow what you should be doing today argument more than a little hollow.  And more importantly, it puts the enemy in a heroic position.  "Look at those brave politicians -- they could have put off dealing with the tough issues until their children were running things -- but instead they stood up and did what needed to be done."  That's not the impression I want Joe & Jane voter to have of our opposition.    

      A couple further thoughts -- to the person who wrote:

      "The logic (or lack thereof) that dictates a politician should not criticize someone else's plan without offering an alternative is pure malarkey."

      I agree.  Pointing out the rapidly approaching Iceberg, even if I don't necessarily know how to steer the ship, should be rewarded, not punished.    

      So think of it this way instead:  crying wolf is far more effective if you point out both why their idea is leading us down a dangerous road and how our idea will not only avoid the disaster, but actually lead us to a better place.  That's what we as a Party need to do.  Just criticizing is valid; but criticizing while leading is election day gold.  

      To the person who wrote:

      "Seriously, we cannot hope to propose an alternate plan to "fix" social security at this time.  We are not in power...."

      I respectfully disagree.  We need a revolution.  We need to cleanse Congress of the dangerous and ideologically hidebound folks in there now.  The waiting game always works in the end -- but we need to act faster.  The Republicans were in the minority in the House for 40 years before Newt Gingrich came along.  Love him or hate him, he galvanized his party and took them to the Promised Land.  He was helped by Democratic infighting -- in that sense, the waiting game worked -- but they'd still be waiting if not for Gingrich's injection of new ideas into the political discourse.  (Bad ideas, perhaps, but new and exciting nonetheless.)  

      We need the power that new ideas unconventional approaches to political issues can bring.  Clinton had it in 2000.  And again with Welfare Reform.  Dean had it this year.  Radical thinking and new ideas and attitudes are heady stuff.  It also wins elections.  

      I also have a great deal of sympathy for those of you who point out the rank hypocrisy of crying "crisis" within months of finalizing a ridiculous tax cut that would have averted that same crisis.  Bush is inept and his poor fiscal management skills are bankrupting our country.  And I thrust this fact back in the face of every Bush-crony I see.  But ultimately, other than make us feel better, this solves nothing.  We are where we are.  And lamenting the poor choices of the past does not absolve us of taking action now.  

      To post pointing out that I'm not Paul Krugman and that I'm "handing the Cons a huge victory for nothing...."  Wow.  

      What do I say to that?

      Republicans, and this administration in particular, are ruthless about stifling dissent.  Those who disagree are branded as "traitors."  Is this the model we want to emulate?  

      To the post who wrote that our heath care truly deserves the "crisis" label and is far more of a danger to our way of life.  Amen.  I plan on solving healthcare in the next episode.*  

      I'm glad I joined Kos.  I was an avid reader during the election, but never actually posted.  Thanks for all the thoughtful responses so far, and I look forward to reading more.

      *For those of you not familiar, with the debacle that West Wing has become.... In a particularly poor episode (I'm assuming after Sorken left), Toby and Josh fix Social Security.  Takes them all of an episode.  ;)

      •  So change the perception. (none)
        The trouble with most of the truths Democrats try to get across is that they are too complicated, and have no emotional content.

        "Hands off our Social Security!" And in certain contexts, you can add, "Thief!"

        Does that sound complicated? Does that sound hard to understand? It will be a very easy sell. Why? Because people want to believe that Social Security is OK after all -- that everything will be all right if the government just leaves it the hell alone. They don't have to understand charts and graphs. For once, the Dems' message is way easier than the Republicans. The GOP wants to renege on the US Treasury Bonds that will fund SS. And they want younger workers' contributions, that are supposed to be paying Grandma so she doesn't have to move in with them, to be handed over to the uncertainties of the stock market. That's embezzlement. That's theft.

        And it has major emotional resonance. I mean: seniors, widows, children, the disabled... even a lot of Republicans wouldn't be too comfortable robbing them in broad daylight.

        Massacre is not a family value.

        by Canadian Reader on Wed Jan 19, 2005 at 12:31:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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