Writing in the LA Times, Michael Hitzlick makes a great point:
when corporations are shedding their responsibilities, it's the wrong time for the government to do so. When the president, who never seems to think about the difficulty most people face in holding on to what they do own, proposes to cut the Social Security benefits of the majority of workers by 30% or more, how does he account for abrogations of promises made by companies such as United? Some workers spent their careers at the airline working toward pensions they were told would be worth $100,000 a year or more. Instead, they'll receive $45,000 or less.
As he argues, the most effective rejoinder to Bush's plan has been the time period in which he proposed it. To tell workers to trust the stock market post-Enron, to take a benefits cut post-United, and to accept transition costs post-deficit has been nonsensical. Bush's determination to push his plan through while every single real world indicator rips open its flaws has been impressive but, thankfully, it's been futile.
Indeed, Bush is lucky he didn't try this in his first term because the initiative is turning him into his father. The latest ARG poll has him at 51% disapproval, 43% approval, and all because of economic issues. 59% think the econom'ys getting worse (19% think better), 57% disapprove of Bush's handling of the economy, and 64% rate the current economy at bad, very bad, or terrible. And in the middle of it all, there's George Bush instructing America to give up their guaranteed government pensions for a lower sum that may, if the stock market cooperates, grow. Sounds to me like someone needs a terror alert...