Monday, February 21, 2005

Social Insecurity Complex: Dubya Tapdances

Is Dubya easing up a little in his Quixotic quest to shape Social Security into his own image? AP reports the clod in chief will conceded during an appearance in New Hampshire that he would consider raising payroll taxes on folks earning more than $90,000.

"Asked directly, Bush said he would not bar raising the $90,000 cap, although he does not want to see the payroll tax rate go up.

"'The one thing I'm not open-minded about is raising the payroll tax rate. And all the other issues go on the table,' Bush said in the interview, according to an account in [the] New Haven (Conn.) Register.

Despite the good sense of such a statement, the usual suspects were freaking out during last week's Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C.

"People are quite angry about Bush opening a Pandora's box of tax increases," said Stephen Moore with the Free Enterprise Fund. 'It's almost like `read my lips' all over again."

Anti-tax activist and borderline crazy man Grover Norquist issued similar misgivings, recalling President George H.W. Bush's ill-fated reneging on his "no new taxes" pledge.

"When dad did it, it was bad politics and bad policy. To do it again would be bad politics, bad policy and a lousy memory," said Norquist.

If the White House is indeed sensing the political precariousness of uprooting Social Security, it will be interesting to see whether Dubya can finesse things without pissing off the more rabid sect of his own party.


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