Stephen Moore admits that Bushs scheme to save Social Security is "now officially floundering." But,
even though personal accounts may go nowhere this year, reformers can still take heart. Heres why. First, the policy debate is completely commanded by conservatives ideas, not the lefts. Thats a political victory in itself. Second, if Republicans lose the fight this year, they have in many ways further imprinted in voters minds the message that the Democratic party is reactionary and devoid of ideas. Republicans, by pressing boldly for personal accounts, have succeeded in demonstrating again that they are the party of reform. To most Americans, the main DNC/Brookings Institution/AARP talking point on personal accounts--that the program doesnt need fixing--is almost laughable.
Finally, and most important, losing the first round of the battle, if it comes to that, doesnt automatically discredit the idea. Consider the transformational policy milestones of recent decades. It has taken more than 20 years from the time President Reagan announced SDI, to almost universal skepticism from the intellectual class, for the missile shield program to become a (mostly) accepted component of our defense strategy.
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