So, Um, What Is Our Plan?

Following up on my last post, it's worth asking: What is our plan?

Well, I think we've been largely hesitant to come up with one, because if we do, press stories about it will begin: "Democrats on Capitol Hill, in a sign that they agree with President Bush's grim assessment of Social Security's future solvency..."

That said, my scenario did sort of require that we have a plan. And as a Democrat, I'm not opposed to having one. Social Security is just about the most successful thing our government's ever done, but it could be better, and if it can be bettered without increasing peoples' personal risk, I'm down. Here are some of the more attractive candidates that I've seen:

  • The Longman Plan: Basically, this raises the age at which you begin drawing benefits to 72, but keeps the retirement age at 68, and uses private accounts to cover the four-year gap.
  • The Dean Plan: Raise the amount of income that Social Security payroll taxes apply to. This sounds like a tax cut hike, but it would be a really minimal one, and it would balance the SS budget.
  • The Bipartisanship Plan: Get together with Hagel, Graham, or one of the other more moderate Republicans who have already floated plans. Tweak it a little to make it Democrat-friendly, and back that.

We could get a little think-tank action going on here. If there's any lesson to be learned from HillaryCare, it's that you can only make big changes in small increments. Howard Dean knows it, too; it's how he got health care reform passed in VT. So come on, folks - What little things can we do to catch Bushial Security completely off-guard? What are your favorite candidates for plans that "fix it, don't nix it"?

- Daniel A. Munz