Luckily, there have been a few moments of clarity in the debate that cut through the rhetorical clutter and get to the core goal of the conservative’s fight: the abolishment of the principle of shared responsibility and sacrifice that Social Security embodies.
The most recent example came yesterday when Republican Rep. Jack Kingston (GA) explicitly stated the Republican strategy — get any Social Security bill through the House and Senate and then add private accounts in a conference committee:
“Anything they can get passed out of the Senate we should consider a major victory,” Mr. Kingston said, adding that if the Senate can pass any sort of Social Security bill — even without personal accounts — the House would “meet them in conference committee with personal accounts.”
This reaffirms what the White House’s endgame is as told to the New York Times last month:
” they will seek to lure Democrats into negotiations on the program’s solvency and prepare for an endgame in which Mr. Bush will make an all-out push to convince the country that individual investment accounts will reduce the pain of benefit cuts or tax increases ”
All of which originates from the first moment of clarity back in January when the White House’s Office of Strategic Initiatives circulated a memo laying out their ideological and political goal:
“The debate about Social Security is going to be a monumental clash of ideas–and it’s important for the conservative movement that we win both the battle of ideas and the legislation that will give those ideas life At the end of the day, we want to promote both an ownership society and advance the idea of limited government. For the first time in six decades, the Social Security battle is one we can win–and in doing so, we can help transform the political and philosophical landscape of the country.”
- Jason Miner