The Note: Bet the Ranch

"Embracing solvency in this way is thus not without its political risk for Republicans. Democrats are already saying they won't compromise unless Mr. Bush drops personal accounts, and GOP Ways and Means Chairman Bill Thomas is signaling -- dangerously -- that 'personal accounts can take a number of forms.' Yes, but unless accounts let individuals invest and own part of their own payroll taxes, they will be phony."

Paul Krugman finds progressive indexing as brutish as he did Mr. Bush's initial instincts about Social Security. LINK

The Free Enterprise Fund's Stephen Moore uses a New York Post op-ed column to endorse President Bush's Social Security plan and calls the Pozen approach an "olive branch to Democrats." LINK

Linda Feldmann of the Christian Science Monitor looks at President Bush's ongoing -- and carefully worded -- pitch to overhaul Social Security. LINK

Roll Call's Mark Preston lays out the respective sides of the argument over President Bush's Social Security plan (Republicans: Democrats are being obstructionist; Democrats: Republicans are distorting the facts) that Senators are taking home this week.

The Los Angeles Times' Warren Vieth looks at Treasury Secretary John Snow's role as main pitch man for President Bush's Social Security plan, reportedly spending more than half his time pushing the President's overhaul, though with little effect on public opinion and at the risk of creating "a broader perception that the Treasury Department's influence and stature have declined since Bush took office." LINK

On Sunday, the Washington Post ed board wrote that President Bush has left Democrats plenty of opportunities to criticize him for his Social Security plan, from the amount that higher-income workers would be able to divert into private accounts to the way benefits would be calculated in the future. But they're a reasonable place to start, and now Democrats need to start getting behind a plan of their own. LINK

The White House couldn't have written it better itself, and USA Today has a comparable editorial today, although less well reasoned.

On three Sunday shows, White House Chief of Staff Andy Card agreed. LINK

Rep. Jim Leach shrewdly prophesized that Bush's Social Security restoration project either will happen, or it won't. (But it probably won't.) "'I think the odds are against it, but it's quite possible,' the Iowa City Republican said as the guest on 'Iowa Press.'" As deduced by Thomas Beaumont in Saturday's Des Moines Register, according to Leach, the President has not yet managed to mobilize the troops -- so to speak -- on a specific plan of action. And while we're on the subject, Leach said (regrettably) that he doesn't regret his "no" vote on Iraq or his stance as the sole Iowa Republican to vote against the $2.6 billion budget passed on Thursday, but he hasn't yet made a determination about DeLay. LINK

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