Yes... reflect for a moment on the chimera of effective Republican leadership; or just meaningful representation. Imagine what it would be like, if Washington D.C. Conservatives had a political spine that would both support a sturdy framework from its foundations and convey consistent messages to the body politic. Maybe it could even manage a few punches back now and then. Imagine how effective Republicans could be for this nation if they were as unified and adamant at progress as their Democrat counterparts are at obstruction?
Take for instance, Social Security reform. Today the House GOP is said to have crafted revised Social Security Legislation aimed at averting the pending crisis of insolvency in that program. But, the approach abandons the President's calls for privatization and once again cowers before the rhetoric of Democrats, and the pressure of special interests. According to reports, the new approach refuses to address the interests of younger Americans for more personal control over their retirement investments. It does not deal with the issue of insolvency. It merely avoids the tough issues of reform altogether - curbs on benefits, higher taxes or changes in the retirement age needed to achieve long-term financial stability. The approach seems to merely avoid all conflict (or resolution for that matter) while attempting to appear to address the issue.
Bush got a firsthand glimpse of the difficulties confronting him during the day, when Sen. Robert Bennett, R-Utah, informed him that he intended to introduce legislation omitting private investment accounts funded through Social Security payroll taxes.
Bennett favors the accounts, but has long been considering dropping them from legislation in hopes of prompting Democrats to join in bipartisan talks on steps to shore up solvency.
"He indicated that I should go forward and do that," Bennett said of Bush. "And I'm grateful to have him do that even though his own preference would be to have personal accounts included."
Bennett's bill also includes steps to place Social Security on a stronger financial footing. It would curtail promised benefits for middle-and upper-income wage earners of the future, while protecting benefits for those who made less money during their working lives.
Bush's spokesman, Trent Duffy, told reporters that despite Bennett's plan, the president is not retreating on his insistence for personal accounts.
Clearly, Rep. Bennet is more than a little confused according to the AP story (albeit taken from AP with a salt lick).
Later, in remarks on CNN, Bennett said that while Bush had spoken favorably of steps to achieve greater solvency, he "didn't specifically say, 'And it's a good thing you're dropping private accounts.' Frankly, that didn't come up," said the senator, who supports individual accounts.
Duct tape would be more effective than the silk string the GOP is using to thread a delicate compromise. And yet for all of that concession, Democrats still delivered a firm rejection, coated in the familiar obstinant rhetoric,
Despite the differences from Bush's proposals, Democrats quickly attacked the legislation, which is emerging in different forms in the House and Senate.
Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., called it "a smaller version of a bad idea. That bad idea is private accounts."
"They can twist themselves into any pretzel shape they want," said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. "As long as privatization is on the table, there will be no compromise on Social Security."
Social Security is not going to fix itself. And Democrats are clearly going to do nothing to fix it. The truth is becoming increasingly clear that Democrats interests are best served by the insolvency and failure of America's economic foundations. The failure of Health Care and Social Security are a quick means to that end. The New Deal ponzi scheme that has help to cultivate a new political aristocracy in Washington will finally break the economic spine of this nation by the time the next generation begins to assume its financial liabilities. A tax burden in excess of 60% for our children will represent an obligation beyond confiscatory altruism. It is slavery... forced labor for the benefit of those in power and the entitlement of degenerate masses.
We can not allow this. Two generations now have the responsibility to relieve the nation of this mortal burden. As I have stated here before:
Do YOU hear me, Dear Benefactors?!
You may ask me to pay for your benefits, because that was the nature of the contract that you had with the People according to the Federal plan.You may expect a limited committment to that decrepit system - ponsey scheme that it was.You may relax now on your expectation of entitlement. But, you may not demand that I conform to your choices when it comes to my life, my future, and the lives of my children. The time for private accounts is at hand, and it is the choice that We want to make. Accept your own slavery to patronage for the peddlers who offer you crumbs for your souls. We, the generation that is poised to wipe your dependent rear ends, will do so gladly for the promise to release our shackles and the indentured servitude of our children when you are passed and forgotten.You have it in your power to be remembered for helping Us make the right decisions when change was demanded. Or you can be remembered for your self-centered cowardice, when our spite becomes the ink for your eulogy.How will you be remembered through Us by the generation that We cherish. The choice is yours now. Make it!
Our children will be forced with the choice to shrug in defiance or submit at the point of a gun. Unless we maintain the fortitude to dissassemble that burden here and now.
Do you here me, Republicans?