Perrspectives - Bringing light to Darkness

Bush's Social Security Smoke Screen

January 6, 2005

As we previously discussed in "The Party of Choice", the Bush Social Security privatization is only loosely concerned about increasing market returns for retirement savings, providing greater freedom to American investors or even staving off a supposed funding crisis. Win or lose, the Bush plan seeks nothing less than to dramatically redefine the role of government while cementing the image of a majority Republican Party as the party of choice.
But you don't have to take our word for it. An email recently unearthed from Karl Rove deputy Peter Wehner bluntly states the administration's goals and strategies:

  • Wehner labeled the privatization plan "one of the most important conservative undertakings of modern times."
  • Doing so, he said, would advance the idea of limited government and could transform the nation's political landscape, "We have it within our grasp to move away from dependency on government and toward giving greater power and responsibility to individuals."
  • "The Social Security battle is one we can win." But to successfully the program, the administration must "establish an important premise: the current system is heading toward an iceberg."
  • Wehner's nakedly cynical memo, is of course wrong on virtually every substantive point of public policy. But in one claim, Wehner speaks a painful truth, a warning that Democrats are viewed as "party of obstruction and opposition. It is the Party of the Past."


    Jon Perr
    Jon Perr is a technology marketing consultant and product strategist who writes about American politics and public policy.

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