Friday, April 01, 2005

Social Security Unlikely This Year, Hastert Says

Dennis Hastert, Republican Speaker of the House, doubts that the Congress can pass Social Security reform this year.

House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) has acknowledged that President Bush's call for completion of a Social Security bill this year could be unrealistic and that the legislation might have to wait until 2006.

The president's aides immediately responded by saying Bush is committed to winning passage this year. The White House and Republican congressional leaders have said repeatedly that the proposed restructuring of the retirement system is doomed if it does not pass this year, because it will be even more difficult to get Democratic support in 2006, a midterm election year.

Personally, I doubt they will get any Democrats this year, either. Private acounts and trillion dollar loans to fund them simply are too much to swallow. They are completely unresponsive to the apparent problem that might occur in four or five decades. If the Republicans continue to try to get the private accounts in 2006 it will be little more than a gift to Democrats running for election in November 2006.


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