Bring on privatization

BRING ON PRIVATIZATION….Remember last year, when the president’s pseudo-plan to privatize Social Security became a debacle for the ages? Apparently, at least one key House Republican wants a rematch.

It’s not available online for non-subscribers, but Congress Daily reported yesterday:

Congress should make Social Security overhaul its top priority next year, while a rewrite of the tax code and revamping the nation’s healthcare system probably will wait until at least 2009, House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Chairman Jim McCrery, R-La., said today. […]

“Looking at the lay of the land politically and substantively, it seems to me the more logical order would be Social Security, then tax reform, then healthcare reform,” he told reporters after addressing the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. McCrery said Congress should take up Social Security first because doing nothing would have “tremendous negative fiscal consequences,” and it is easier to solve from a policy standpoint than fixing Medicare and Medicaid. “If we can get [Social Security] done, I think that buys us the political capital to move on to the bigger issues of health care,” he said.

I think it’s only fair that Democrats help Rep. McCrery and House Republicans by letting as many Americans as possible know about exactly what they’d like to do next year, if they keep their majorities in Congress. It’s getting some press, but gifts like these don’t come along very often and Democrats would be foolish not to take advantage.

Keep in mind, the DCCC is already anxious to remind voters about the privatization scheme. Indeed, just last month, House Democrats started reaching out to Christian conservatives with radio ads on the issue, because polls showed that Bush’s approach was particularly unpopular with the evangelical community.

The main problem with the ads was that they lacked a news peg. Voters haven’t heard about Social Security for months, so the Republicans’ fiasco on the issue isn’t fresh in their minds.

House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Chairman Jim McCrery seems willing to give Democrats a hand in reminding the electorate. The party can, in turn, give McCrery a hand in disseminating his message.