It looks like the Democrats have their battle plan all ready for the Social Security debate: deceive, inveigle, obfuscate. And for heaven’s sake, don’t propose your own policy. Here’s new Congressman and former Clintonite Rahm Emanuel on “Meet the Press” yesterday:
MR. RUSSERT: We do know that life expectancy has gone from 65 to 80, so that 80 million people will be on Social Security for 15 to 20 years. Will the Democrats come forward with a specific plan to save Social Security and what will it encompass?Sure you do. Let’s see how the Democrats have clarified their positions on that cornerstone of the New Deal:
REP. EMANUEL: Yeah. What the Democrats will do is we stand ready to work on the retirement security. I've laid out here just briefly some of the things we are going to deal with helping people establish a retirement plan for themselves in addition to Social Security.
MR. RUSSERT: No, but specifics.
REP. EMANUEL: All right.
MR. RUSSERT: Let me go through a checklist.
REP. EMANUEL: All right.
MR. RUSSERT: Would you consider raising the retirement age?
REP. EMANUEL: Tim, I'm not going to sit here and negotiate it. To quote...
MR. RUSSERT: But why won't the Democrats or the Republicans level with the American people?
REP. EMANUEL: Well, no, we will. Well, first of all, Tim, you talk about leveling with the American people, as you just said, Social Security right now is--in 2042 we face the challenge. He wants to use the word crisis. I think when 80 percent of the workers who work at small businesses have no retirement plan, that to me has an immediacy that uses the word "crisis." When literally nearly 40 percent of the households, 27 million households, have no retirement plan outside of Social Security, that has an immediacy to me. We stand ready to work on that. On the notion of Social Security, on the notion that when you blow all the smoke away, we're talking about raising--borrowing another $2 trillion, cutting benefits up to 40 percent...
MR. RUSSERT: What is your alternative?
REP. EMANUEL: Well, the alternative, as you well know, is we work here, we have an alternative as it relates to retirement plans and helping people develop retirement plans on top of Social Security. I will not tell you what we don't do, and as you know on this show, Tim, and you're smart to what happens in this town, the president proposes and Congress disposes, he'll come forward with his plan. We'll work from there. We stand ready to help strengthen people's retirement security...
MR. RUSSERT: Is this a lesson that you've learned from Mrs. Clinton's health-care plan, where she proposed a plan, the Democrats [sic] did not propose any viable alternative, they just sat back and watched that sink? Is that your plan for the president's Social Security plan?
REP. EMANUEL: No, we stand ready to work with him.
Democratic National Committee: No proposals, no specifics, no acknowledgment of a problem at all.
House minority leader Nancy Pelosi: Ditto
Senate minority leader Harry Reid: “Therefore, we have time to craft a thoughtful solution that will ensure that future generations can depend on Social Security.” Possible solutions proposed: zero.