This is from yesterday's New York Times, and hence "old news," but I just want to ask a personal favor of the "centrists:" please don't compromise. The Republicans simply don't believe in Social Security, and anything you do will end up weakening the program.
We have time, decades even, to shore up America's productive capacity and strengthen the American workforce. If we make prudent decisions right now, the tenuously projected shortfalls will never materialize, not in 2018, not in 2019, not in 2042, not in 2052. Start by restoring funding for higher education assistance, job training, and community colleges. Restore funding for, and expand, programs to help disadvantaged children graduate from high school and go to college, if they so choose. Move to strengthening collective bargaining and cutting down on corporate financial abuses. Improve the health care system so that it no longer acts as an anchor on American economic growth.
Most of all, stop George Bush's "hurt America" agenda. From here on out, every new piece of legislation the Republicans introduce should be answered with: the social security debate is more important, let's not lose our focus. President Bush wants to talk about shoring up social security's finances, let's talk about his plan to do so.
We are gaining political capital on Social Security. We need to delay-delay-delay the under the table assault on the kitchen table while our capital accumulates.