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Bully Pulpit

The term "bully pulpit" stems from President Theodore Roosevelt's reference to the White House as a "bully pulpit," meaning a terrific platform from which to persuasively advocate an agenda. Roosevelt often used the word "bully" as an adjective meaning superb/wonderful. The Bully Pulpit features news, reasoned discourse, opinion and some humor.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Democrats Seek Political Advantage in Rejecting Entitlement Reform

(By John Sexton, Hot Air) - For decades, money collected through Social Security payroll taxes has gone via “securities” into the Treasury’s general fund. From there, the money was spent on all sorts of things including payouts to current retirees. Fortunately, Social Security has always brought in more money than it has paid out.

At least that was the case until this week when it was announced that starting this year (and for perpetuity) Social Security will pay out much more than it takes in. The net cost this year alone is going to be $45 billion, and over the next decade the figure will mount to well over half a trillion dollars.

Looking at the financial state of the union–$14 Trillion in debt, high unemployment, low growth, states facing bankruptcy–you might think Democrats would be getting ready to sit down with Republicans and figure out how to avoid piling on more debt. You would be wrong. Instead, they’ve got their new messaging team figuring out how to turn the issue into a political goldmine:

Senate Democrats led by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) are gearing up for a battle with House Republicans over Medicare and Social Security benefits.

Schumer and other Democratic strategists see Medicare and Social Security as winning political issues that can help them regain the momentum they lost over the last two years…

“They want to privatize Social Security,” Schumer said of Republicans. “Privatize equals end, no more.”
You have to admire the brazenness of that line, i.e. privatization equals nothingness. I suspect Hugo Chavez could waft that one into his nose and pronounce the odor it gives off heavenly, but then he is a socialist not a US Senator.


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