Two links to Josh Marshall in one day, I know, but he seems wrong when he says that the Social Security battle is over: “Not forever. But at least for the next few years.” Really? I mean, the odds seem long that the GOP will want to inch near any sort of privatization bill right now, but nevertheless, the Republican leadership hasn’t explicitly given the battle up. This Bloomberg piece offers a variety of different quotes, including one from House Ways and Means Chairman Bill Thomas, who notes that he’s “optimistic” about passing some sort of limited privatization bill; presumably he plans to stuff it with enough pension-related goodies to try and peel off Democratic support.
More notably, the president hasn’t given it up. Right before Katrina struck, Bush was cavorting around at various events for seniors, touting his Medicare prescription plan and promising that they would have nothing to lose from privatization—only those under 55 would get screwed. He seems serious. Now granted, the president lives in a cocoon, and would certainly be the last to know that most Americans don’t want to abolish Social Security, that the GOP’s losing this fight, and that he’s crazy for trying. Still, declaring victory seems a bit premature.