February 01, 2005

Sorry, But No

Brad DeLong has a brilliant proposal to shore up Social Security, boost national savings, and give Congress some much-needed political cover if tough choices need to be made. The man knows his policy! I have only one tiny little nitpick. Prof. DeLong calls it a "potential deal". Sadly, this is not a potential deal.

If Democrat were ever to propose something like the DeLong Plan, first President Bush would oppose it, then he would relentlessly accuse the minority party of raising taxes on all small businesses, most middle-class families, and a few cute puppies. After a few months of good hard Dem-whacking, the plan would die an ignoble death, only to be reintroduced into the Senate by Rick "Up For Re-election" Santorum, with only a few minor and wholly offensive tweaks. It would then get picked up, reluctantly lauded by bruised moderates, photographed in public places with its arms around President Bush, feted by liberal pundits desperately seeking a "compromise" and an "end to The Most Divisive Era Ever," and would finally squeak through the Senate. Then it's off to conference we go, where key House Republicans, along with select Democratic turncoats, would amend the bill beyond recognition, turn it into a disaster, and then quickly send the 12,000 page non-amendable "compromise" bill back to each house for a quick up-or-down vote.

Thanks, but no thanks. We all know how this game plays out. Back when the Plumers first bought an electric radio fence for the family dog, it took poor Spikey about three hard zaps to the neck before figuring out where not to run. I would hope the Democrats have a somewhat shallower learning curve.
-- Brad Plumer 2:08 AM || ||