So there you have it.
Private accounts, at best, do nothing to make Social Security solvent. Yet, according to his Treasury Secretary John Snow, President Bush considers private accounts "an absolutely essential part" of the changes he wants to make.
He's committed to phase-out; not solvency.
Yes, I know it sounds stark and dramatic. But it's true.
"The president's committed to these personal accounts. I'm committed to them. They've got to be part of any solution, because without them, we can't offer the promise of fixing and preserving Social Security and the purpose of Social Security for younger people."
He won't even consider a plan to extend and assure solvency; it has to be phase-out. So what is there to talk about?
But let's go beyond that. The president is traveling all across the county, hitting every marginal Republican district he can find, to sell his plan.
But what plan?
Before anyone takes him seriously, doesn't he have to disclose the size of the benefit cuts he wants?
He's like Nixon; he's got a secret plan to end Social Security.