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Heavy-Handed Politics

"€œGod willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world
without the United States and Zionism."€ -- Iran President Ahmadi-Nejad

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Social Security's 'dirty little secret'


Democrats are mounting a major offensive to block President Bush's proposal to let workers create wealth and build a more secure retirement by investing some of their Social Security payroll taxes in stocks and bonds.

But they are making a huge gamble with their all-out opposition because significant numbers of their base constituencies actually like Mr. Bush's idea. This is the dirty little secret in the Social Security debate that the mainstream news media aren't reporting.

The truth is that for some years now, many national polls have shown that significant percentages among blacks, Hispanics, Asians, labor union members and other traditionally Democratic voting groups support the concept of personal investment retirement accounts.

An Annenberg poll last December showed that 54 percent of Hispanics support the concept of "allowing workers to invest Social Security funds in the stock market."

A more recent poll by John Zogby found that more than 50 percent of black voters who liked the idea wanted to invest as much as half of the payroll tax in individual accounts to get a better return on their tax contributions.

"On Social Security reform, you are looking at younger voters, union members and minorities that find this idea popular," Zogby told me. Democratic leaders "are not talking to their own base, let along the rest of middle America," he said.

The biggest surprise in his poll, Zogby said, was that nearly one-third of all Democrats said they liked Mr. Bush's idea.

The word going out to Democratic Party strategists is proceed with caution -- many of your own supporters think the president's idea is a good one.


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