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May 15, 2005

No Allegiance To Democratic Party

-- by Dave Johnson

Florida Rep. Robert Wexler is going to break the Democratic coalition that has been holding the line against the Republicans' attempt to get rid of Social Security. The story, Democrat to Offer Social Security Plan quotes him saying, "My allegiance to seniors is greater than my allegiance to the Democratic Party."

Minority Leader Pelosi tried to stop him. From the story,

Wexler said he had twice spoken with Pelosi about his plan. While he would not reveal her reaction, he said, "It would be wrong to assume it was a receptive conversation."
Good for her!

Thanks to There Is No Crisis, where they write,

If you care about saving Social Security from privatization, call up the disgraced congressman and tell him to pull his head out of his pompous ass:

Washington, D.C. Office
213 Cannon House Office Building • Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-3001 • (202) 225-5974 FAX

Palm Beach County Office
2500 North Military Trail • Suite 100 • Boca Raton, FL 33431
(561) 988-6302 • (561) 988-6423 FAX

Broward County Office
Margate City Hall • 5790 Margate Blvd • Margate, FL 33063
(954) 972-6454 • (954) 974-3191 FAX

Posted by Dave Johnson at May 15, 2005 4:03 PM

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Comments

Actually, Wexler hasn't done a lot of damage. He did say that private accounts and benefit cuts are off the table. He basically wanted to let his constituants know that he won't bail on them. I don't think it's as serious as it first appeared. I like his plan a lot. He uses the CBO numbers instead of the Social Security Trustees figures. This really isn't a crack in the wall, it's the worst option to the Republicans - not even close enough to start any negotiations.

Posted by: Marvyt at May 15, 2005 4:29 PM

I think before we jump all over Wexler we consider that his plan, which is to add a 6% tax on income over $90,000, to be divided between employee and employer, not only would fix social security without any cut in benefits, but also would completley obviate any further attempts to piratize it. I think this is a smart move; it's simple, the OMB has verified that this plan will definitely fix social security; and it completey thwarts the ludicrous complexities of Bush's plan to destroy it.

Posted by: Marblex at May 15, 2005 6:30 PM

His plan does not sound that bad. Not only did the article say he wanted the 3/3 percent for over 90K but he wanted to reinstitute the pay as you go. That sounds like a plan to me.

Posted by: Nancy at May 15, 2005 7:30 PM

The point is that the Democrats have been holding together, refusing to engage until Bush takes privatization off the table. This keeps it on the table.

Posted by: Dave Johnson at May 15, 2005 7:47 PM

Bush has been saying that he will go ahead with his plan because the Democrats have not come up with an alternative. Well Wexler has done just that. He has come up with an alternative that will be difficult for Bush to argue with. Wexler's plan sounds good. It does not call for money to be taken out of social security to be put in the stock market and eliminates any need to cut benefits. It does increase the tax on those making $90,000 a year by 3% for the individual and 3% by employer which will pull social security out of the "danger" zone. This suggestion by Wexler will make it difficult for Bush to maintain his present stand of dismantling social security to "save it". Personally, I think that Wexler did the smart thing by calling Bush's bluff with a very workable alternative solution.

Posted by: Jane Algozzini at May 16, 2005 5:32 AM

For those as think that this is a good solution, I urge you to remember 2 things:

1) If productivity stays at or near historical levels, there is no need to do one damn thing to fix SS, so buying into the Republican line is a bad idea.

2) Even if one were to want to try to future-proof SS (not a bad idea in the abstract) by eliminating the cap, do you seriously think that any bill which touches SS will (a) get through a Republican Extremist Congress and Joint Committee without turning into privatization, and (b) be implemented in a competent way by the lunatics running the country now?

Posted by: paperwight at May 16, 2005 7:32 AM

Dave, I think you're right about getting in touch with Wexler to let him know most Democrats think unity is more important right now, precisely for the issue of Social Security. But Wexler is generally one of the better of our Representatives. So people should approach him with respect. His plan may be a good one, but we're dealing with a treacherous administration that never tells the truth about anything, and has a prodigous propoganda machine. Staying together could be the key to winning back the congress in 06. If he's worried about what his elderly cconstituents are thinking, let him get out and tell him why Democrats are doing what they're doing.

Posted by: Leah A at May 16, 2005 2:27 PM

Boy do some blogs go off the deep end in a hurry!

I was amazed to read that one of my elected congressional representatives had gone over to the dark side on Social Security. Then I was finally able to read the plan, and understand that he is calling Bush's bluff, and proposing what everyone knows will cure (whether temporarily or long-term it is too early to know), the deficit in the Social Security Program as projected by Bush-appointed or controlled trustees and their actuaries. If their estimates are to be afforded any credibility at all.

Folks, please take some time to understand basic strategy, whether you liken it to a game of chess, the conduct of war, political campaigns or the planning of lawsuits, and you will understand that there is no greater defense than a strong offense. Standing firm on a defensive wall is good strategy, but standing firm on a wall without any offensive countermeasures is an act of desperation and hope. By offering a Democratic solution, Rep. Wexler has just handed Democrats a Social Security Plan to run with, or to shove in the face of Republicans in the 2006 elections.

Posted by: rmwlaw at August 5, 2005 6:06 AM

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