The Note: Advice and Dissent

Call Congressman X and tell him to oppose President Bush's risky scheme that would put in jeopardy our social security benefits here in X.

We cannot afford to be silent.

The Republican National Committee is sending a document to reporters and supporters today, claiming that GOP candidates who've grabbed on to the third rail of politics with ungloved hands have gone on to win elections.

This RNC clearly wants the media to remember and report that Republicans can tout personal accounts and win elections, and more importantly, wants to try and give skittish Republicans up for re-election some cover by pointing to history.

Social Security: the policy:

The Los Angeles Times' Peter Wallsten and Richard Simon write that the Bush Administration is not only going after African-American support for its Social Security plan, but targeting Latinos as well. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez penned a Spanish-language op-ed in La Opinion, in which he said that the Latino community has the most to lose if the President's plan doesn't take effect, with the growing number of young Latinos in the workforce, coupled with the dependence of Latino retirees on the program. LINK

"Administration officials said that the Gutierrez message -- written as a response to a Monday editorial in La Opinion warning that Latinos stood to lose from private accounts -- would be repeated in White House staff briefings with Latino leaders and in speeches to gatherings of Spanish-speakers across the nation as part of the broader push to convince the public and Congress to back private accounts."

"Opponents of the accounts also elevated their Latino outreach, with one advocacy group backed by the AFL-CIO planning a series of town hall meetings in heavily Latino areas, and a leading Cuban American Democrat sending an e-mail to Spanish-speaking supporters. The e-mail warned that a shift to worker-owned accounts could hurt lower-income Latinos who had less experience with private investing than other groups did."

Chairman Greenspan:

The New York Times ed board disses Chairman Greenspan. LINK

Paul Krugman disses Chairman Greenspan. LINK

Greenspan on Thursday came out as a fan of taxing personal consumption more than income as a way to encourage people to save, the Los Angeles Times' Joel Havemann reports, reasoning that the accumulated capital could be invested in the economy. LINK

The New York Times Edmund Andrews writes up Chairman Greenspan's words to the President's tax panel supporting tax reform of the consumption nature. LINK

USA Today's Barbara Hagenbaugh makes Greenspan's idea sound much more even-keeled, suggesting a mix of consumption and income tax. LINK

The Washington Post's Dan Balz Notes Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid's smackdown on Greenspan yesterday, with a personal attack ("hack") that, as Balz puts it, quite clearly reflects Democrats' frustration over Greenspan's support for the private accounts President Bush has proposed in his Social Security plan. LINK

Balz doesn't come right out and say it, but his piece gives implicit voice to those Democrats worried that Reid's sharp tongue could use a well-timed holding now and then.

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