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Social Security privatization: Toast?

The other day I ran into one of America's most venerated political writers and I asked about the status of Bush's Social Security plan.

"Toast," he said. "Toast!"

I believe him. But it's possible that privatization still has some life in it. I called my friend M, who knows the Hill better than anyone, and he noted that the private sector is about to launch a multi-million-dollar advertising campaign in support of private S.S. accounts. M doesn't think anyone should underestimate the political skill of the Bush camp: "If they can turn John Kerry from a decorated war hero into a sniveling wimp, they can turn private accounts into a good idea."

Sure costs a lot, though, even if those costs are just "transitional." A trillion here, a trillion there, you're starting to talk about real money. The killer for Bush is that his plan doesn't actually address the long-term fiscal problems in the entitlement programs. Politically it sure looks like Hillary's Health Care at the moment.

The venerated one says Bush will now stick with foreign policy.

By Joel Achenbach  |  March 14, 2005; 6:33 AM ET
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