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View Diary: Social Security: Don't buy the Fear Factor! (202 comments)

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  •  some suggestions on tactics (none)
    The one advantage Republicans have is that many people think Social Security needs to be "fixed" and Republicans are betting they can convince them that private accounts are the way to do that. Therefore, it is crucial to separate the two unrelated questions in this debate.

    1. What needs to be done to keep SS solvent into the future?

    2. Are private accounts a good idea?

    For question number one, we need to point out that any funding shortfalls are relatively small and frame the debate as a choice between excessive benefit cuts (Republicans) and an increase in the payroll cap or other small changes (Democrats). This is a debate we can win easily.

    For question number two, the more people learn about Private accounts the less they like them. We can win this debate by talking about Enron, Worldcom, Wall Street windfalls, budget deficits, and the difference between guaranteed benefit and guaranteed payments.

    Republicans will try to confuse these two questions, it is their only chance. To counter this, no Democrat should talk about privatization without explicitly separating these two questions and saying "Even President Bush admits that privatization will do nothing to improve the long-term funding for Social Security, in fact it will add trillions to the national debt."

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