Here's an overnight Associated Press
piece entitled "Bush Pledges to Lead on Social Security
." It has most of what you'd expect and then <$NoAd$> this ...
Though Republicans have increased their majority in both houses, changes would require clearing a hurdle of 60 votes in the Senate.
Underscoring that difficulty, Sen. Arlen Specter, a prominent Republican moderate, has expressed his opposition to cuts in promised Social Security benefits for future retirees
"I strongly oppose this approach," Specter says in a letter on his official Web site. The Pennsylvania Republican did not state a position on investment accounts.
No position on private accounts? Try digging a little deeper. As we reported
earlier today, Sen. Specter has taken a very definitive position on privatization and private accounts: He's against them.
In the penultimate graf of the letter his office is currently sending out in response to queries from constituents, Specter writes ...
On the issue of privatization, I had some time ago considered an idea to place a relatively small portion of benefits in an investment account, providing that the âsecurityâ aspect of Social Security was retained and the investment was under professional management. However, with the severe fluctuations of the stock market, I have since rejected that idea.
And this is as you'd expect since this is the position he clearly enunciated during the campaign this year when he was running against Rep. Joe Hoeffel. As he said at the WTAE-TV debate in Pittsburgh on October 2nd, according to the AP
"At one time I had considered a small portion of Social Security in private accounts," Specter said during the hourlong debate at the WTAE-TV studio in Pittsburgh. But after a closer examination, "I think it is unwise," he said. "I believe the seniors ought to be reassured that their Social Security benefits are solid."
So notwithstanding the report in tonight's AP piece
, I think Sen. Specter is being quite clear on his opposition to private accounts. He stated his opposition during the heat of the campaign. And he's making the point now even more clearly in the letter he's sending constituents, now that he doesn't have to face voters against for another six years, if then even. As Specter himself says, he has "rejected" the idea of private accounts.