Hard to believe isn't it? Focus groups have told the Dems that they don't like the stance Dems have taken on Social Security, that it makes the Dems look like "typical politicians." So they're going to soften the line on Personal Retirement Accounts. They won't be quite as insistant the Bush remove PRA's from Social Security reform.
"House Democrats have decided to quit emphasizing that they will not negotiate changes to Social Security until President Bush drops his idea for private accounts. The switch in strategy comes after Democrats learned from focus groups that people frown on the lawmakers for being obstinate.
"People feel like it doesn't show a good-faith effort," said a top House aide, who like several others spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the internal data. "It makes us seem like we're `typical politicians.'"
Democrats say they are united in opposing a plan they contend would break a social contract by shifting Social Security from a government-guaranteed benefit to a personal investment subject to the risks of the market."
"...shifting Social Security from a government-guaranteed benefit...:? Where is it guaranteed? There is no guarantee that taxpayers will get anything.
"...subject to the risks of the market."? Yeah, there are risks involved, but what backs Social Security now? Government bonds. Sorry, but I don't have a lot of faith in G-bonds when the Dems insist on telling us that SS is in a lockbox and that there is a trust fund. Fables that are repeated by the MSM.
"Social Security now takes in more in payroll taxes than it disburses in benefits to about 47 million retirees. But that trend is projected to end in 2017 amid the retirement of the baby boom generation." (emphasis added)
"By 2041, the system will have exhausted a trust fund built up to continue paying full retiree benefits. Then, according to program analysts, payroll taxes will be able to cover only about 72 percent of promised benefits."
"...cover only about 72 percent of promised benefits." Promised? What happened to guaranteed?
All I ask is that if the Dems don't like Bush's proposal, then here's a unique idea: offer one of their own instead of saying "it won't work", "it'll cost too much", "there's nothing wrong that some adjustments won't cure" and so on. Some Dems might actually be thinking about Social Security, but it seems to me that for the most part, these are gut reactions to the fact that 1) it's Bush making the proposal, and 2) those poor dumb taxpayers might actually start thinking for themselves.
Here's the rest of the story from the AP.