The Decembrist: How Social Security Phase-Out Makes Republicans
The Decembrist: How Social Security Phase-Out Makes Republicans:
Now, there is another way that Social Security privatization could create Republicans, and I think this is actually closer to what’s on the mind of the less utopian strategists. (That is, those not named “Gingrich” or “Kemp.”) It’s the negative: they believe Social Security creates Democrats, by fostering a positive sense of government, which in Texas is called “dependence.” They don’t care about the private accounts so much as eroding as much as possible of the guaranteed benefit. I heard Gene Sperling, the head of the National Economic Council under Clinton, make a point related to this the other day: that the reason the White House seemed to be structuring the privatization in the bizarre and awkward way that they are, especially the reduction of the regular benefit by any gains in the private account, rather than just guaranteeing the benefit and making the account smaller, was to make sure that the guaranteed portion of the program appeared to be as trivial as possible.