I figured Ken Salazar would not find his way into the Fainthearted Faction on Social Security. And I was especially pleased to see him aggressively go after Bush on the privatization issue in the Rocky Mountain News this morning:
Salazar said Bush's plan would reduce the amount the average Social Security beneficiary in Colorado receives from $10,000 to $7,700 per year. About 650,000 people statewide receive Social Security benefits.
. . .
Repeating the position of many congressional Democrats girding for battle over the issue, Salazar - as always, wearing his cowboy hat - said the Social Security system may need adjustments, but that it's not in a state of crisis.
Instead, Salazar said the domestic agenda should focus on fixing the nation's health care crisis and curtailing the ballooning federal deficit, which he says would grow even worse under Bush's Social Security plans.
Repeat after me: There is no crisis. It's especially good to see Salazar pounding the deficit aspect of it, because I believe the parties are switching places on the question of which one is more fiscally responsible, and that's how Colorado could turn into a Dem-leaning state.
I also believe the deficit-ballooning aspect of privatization is one of the reasons, though not the only one, why there are no Westerners on the list of Democrats who are "fainthearted" on Social Security, while there are some Western Republicans, like Rep. Denny Rehberg of Montana, who appear ready to defect to the Dem side of the issue. Another reason is that while Westerners love to talk about getting the government out of our lives, we've never been known to turn down a guaranteed government check.
I seem to remember a certain Bob Beauprez campaigning on a platform of opposing the privatization of Social Security. This would probably be a good time to remind him of that fact. Or even run some old school, "Call Bob Beauprez and tell him not to support Bush's risky privatization plan" type ads. There is no reason to back down on this issue.