TPM reader RT did the <$NoAd$>leg work so I’ll let him speak for himself …
From today’s LA Times top story, referenced in the Note, an anonymous white house source said:
“White House officials say they are confident that congressional skepticism will dissipate once the president persuades a majority of the public that action is needed to extend the life of the retirement program, a process Bush was scheduled to begin today by taking his Social Security message on the road.”
a couple paragraphs later:
“In a significant shift in his rationale for the accounts, Bush dropped his claim that they would help solve Social Security’s fiscal problems â a link he sometimes made during last year’s presidential campaign. Instead, he said the individual accounts were desirable because they would be “a better deal,” providing workers what he said would be a higher rate of return and “greater security in retirement.”
A Bush aide, briefing reporters on the condition of anonymity, was more explicit, saying that the individual accounts would do nothing to solve the system’s long-term financial problems.”
So, the Bushies claim, “there is a huge crisis and our ‘solution’ will ‘do nothing to solve’ it.”
If this is the same White House source that briefed every other reporter yesterday it is Dan Bartlett.
A bit further down in the piece there’s this gem …
That candid analysis, although widely shared by economists, distressed some Republicans.
“Oh, my God,” one GOP political strategist said when he learned of the shift in rhetoric. “The White House has made a lot of Republicans walk the plank on this. Now it sounds as if they are sawing off the board.”
Jeeves! Bring me my saw …