Wednesday, March 09, 2005

AEI Article

I don't agree with almost any of the details in this article from the American Enterprise Institute (a prominent conservative think tank), but I do agree very much with its thesis. In fact, it's the same thesis I've been advancing, albeit from the other side, for a while now.

"Forget about the projections of fiscal calamity or paradise. We have known from the beginning of the argument the central fact: the two sides like different things. "

The author goes on to make his case for why Bush's proposal is good, and to criticize the Administration for their approach to the Social Security issue (playing a game of numbers instead of talking about what they really want). He even likens the approach to the Administration's handling of the Iraq war, which I agree with as well. I could have a lot more respect for the Administration if they had actually said at the beginning, "We're going to liberate the Iraqis. A lot of you might not like it. Tough. We think it's right." Instead, if that indeed was the real reasoning for going to war, they felt like they had to trump up technicalities instead of trusting people to make their own decisions.

The battle over Social Security is going the same way. If their actual concern is whether or not we should have Social Security, then they should be secure enough in their position to talk about it honestly, instead of trying to say that they want to "strengthen and save" the system.