Thursday, April 14, 2005

 

LaTourette in the crosshairs

We can't wait to see how Steve LaTourette handles the spotlight at the Social Security fest in Kirtland tomorrow. His office confirms he is going to be at Bush's "private event."

Historicially, Steve has been all over the place about Social Security. The optimists have put him tentatively in the the anti-phaseout camp because he hasn't been a cheerleader on privatization. The cynics, however, point out that in 2000 he endorsed the "centrists" Republican Main Street Partners' position that calls for:
. . . establishing individual savings accounts, restoring Social Security to permanent actuarial solvency, improving work incentives and/or resolving internal administrative problems.
Five years ago, LaTourette could get away with that. Now that the real debate is on and the number crunchers have done their magic, the obvious problem is that you can't do any of this for free.

So reporters might want to ask if 1) Steve had changed his mind since 2000 and 2) if not, how does he suggest it be paid for: higher taxes or reducing benefits?

And, reporters might want to ask Steve if he also still endorses the RMSP's belief that
It is estimated that, as a result of this, by 2013 Social Security will be making greater payments to retirees than it will take in from the workforce. By 2032 the Social Security Trust Fund will be completely exhausted.
Hey, waittahminute. Steve didn't get caught up in a little "sky is falling" hysteria, did he? He wouldn't make the same mistake again, would he?

We also suspect that the RMSP, as lifeless as it seems, knows it has to recast its Social Sercurity position if it wants to fullfill its loft goal of supporting moderate Repubs. Even its own members seem to leery of privatization.

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