12. February 2005 · Comments Off on Obstructionist Democratic Leadership Focuses On SS Reform · Categories: Politics

This from the Washington Times:

Some House Democrats favor Social Security reform but are afraid of retribution by party leaders, a Republican legislator said.

Rep. Paul D. Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, was asked at a Cato Institute conference in Washington Wednesday whether he had persuaded any Democrats to back his plan to rescue Social Security from its financial troubles, Allan H. Ryskind reports at www.humaneventsonline.com.

Under Mr. Ryan’s legislation, no new taxes would be needed to pay for “transition costs,” participation in the new system would be voluntary and workers would be allowed to divert a portion of their payroll tax into a mutual fund.

A questioner from the audience, stressing his own Democratic credentials, said Mr. Ryan’s plan should attract members of his own party and wondered whether the lawmaker from Wisconsin had secured any Democratic sponsors. Mr. Ryan said he had been working with friends on the “other side of the aisle” who were favorable toward his solution, but he faced an enormous problem: intense pressure on his colleagues from the minority leadership.

“We were in planning stages” with friendly Democrats, Mr. Ryan said. But each essentially told him: “I like what you’re doing. I like this bill. I think it’s the right way to go. But my party leadership will break my back. The retribution that they are promising us is as great as I have ever seen. We can’t do it.”

Mr. Ryan said he thinks the only thing that can assure passage is an outpouring from America’s grass roots.

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