The center of GWB's plan was diversion of a portion of social security taxes into personal investment accounts with a reduction in benefits sufficient to offset unfunded obligations, obligations that were funded by SS taxes but spent by the government to cover deficits, and the losses associated with the diversion of revenues to private accounts. He never specified how those cuts would be made, leaving those details to Congress once the personal accounts were authorized.
Originally Posted by subroc
Clinton never proposed anything even vaguely similar. Clinton's main proposal was to divert a portion of the surplus to reduce the SS deficit but that was given out by Bush in tax cuts instead. Of course, those tax cuts were funded largely through the diversion of even more funds from Social Security to benefit people earning incomes well above the levels taxed for Social Security.
Both men advocated savings accounts. The point was democrats were obstructionist when dealling with Bush on the same issue. At no time did they engage in a meaningful way to attempt to pass social security reform even though they believed it needed to be done and they had a president that was interested in accomplishing it. The democrats put partisan politics and obstructionism ahead of country.
Here is some recent votes from the Senate that show why the Democrats are not obstructionists.
Originally Posted by subroc
To support the new Bush-supported FISA law:GOP - 48-0 Dems - 12-36
To compel redeployment of troops from Iraq:GOP - 0-49Dems - 24-21
To confirm Michael Mukasey as Attorney General:GOP - 46-0 Dems - 7-40
To confirm Leslie Southwick as Circuit Court Judge:GOP - 49-0 Dems - 8-38
Kyl-Lieberman Resolution on Iran:GOP - 46-2 Dems - 30-20
To condemn MoveOn.org:GOP - 49-0 Dems - 23-25
The Protect America Act:GOP - 44-0 Dems - 20-28
Declaring English to be the Government's official language:GOP - 48-1 Dems - 16-33
The Military Commissions Act:GOP - 53-0 Dems - 12-34
To renew the Patriot Act:GOP - 54-0 Dems - 34-10
Cloture Vote on Sam Alito's confirmation to the Supreme Court:GOP - 54-0 Dems - 18-25
Authorization to Use Military Force in Iraq:GOP - 48-1 Dems - 29-22
Almost every vote were for proposals that the White house wanted and were strongly supported by the GOP. Looking closely at the votes you can't help but notice the unamious votes by the GOP. In eight of the votes they were then able to extract enough support from the Dems to insure they got what they wanted. That to me seems to be bipartisanship not obstructionism.
Let's not forget the threat of a Filibuster which the Republicans love when they are the minority party but not so much when they are the majority.
I can play that game too:
Please get off the high horse.
Obstructionist is a loaded term and depends entirely on perspective. If you agree with the majority on an issue, then those who disagree are obviously obstructionist. If you disagree, then those who share your opinion are obviously defending freedom from a delusional majority. Where you see obstruction, I see freedom fighters.
How do you classify the actions of the Republicans who voted unanimously against the stimulus package in the House after first winning concessions on a number of issues. I suspect you don't call them "obstructionists." For what it's worth, I don't either. The rules of the Senate, and to a lesser extent the House, provide a variety of tools to permit a minority to "obstruct" actions by the majority to force compromises on key issues. A side effect of these rules is that either side can bog down the process fairly easily creating the (accurate) impression of a do-nothing Congress.
When things get bad, the majority will often declare its intention to change the rules to make obstruction harder. The Republicans did this in the Senate when they threatened the "nuclear option" to force a vote on judicial nominations. The Republicans did a similar thing in the House by shutting down options to amend legislation on the floor. The Democrats in the House recently announced their intention to restrict the ability of the minority to return bills to committee to prevent a vote. This process, while painful for all, is not a meaningless dance. It is a dance that tries to recognize that a majority of 50% + 1 should not be able to tyrannize the rest of our population. However, by the same token, a minority cannot have unlimited ability to thwart the majority. The procedural dance tends to force both sides to pick their battles carefully or pay the price in the next election.
I pretty much agree with your post.
My original post on the issue of obstructionism is that the democrats do it as well. Cotts135 appears to believe that democrats don’t obstruct, rose-colored glasses and all that. I even advocated obstructionism seeing that the democrats used it and won the presidency and both houses of congress using that exact strategy among other reasons.
After going back and re-reading the post's Subrock I can see how you came to those conclusions. My use of words were imprecise and my meaning was not clear. In two instances my implication was that Democrats were not obstructionist's. That is wrong. What I should have said is that both parties engage in this behavior.
Your quote that the Dems have been obstructionist's for eight years seemed to me to be just a broad generalization and I thought it needed context and clarity. That's what I was commenting on.
I know you probably find this hard to believe but I am all for the Republicans doing what they can to block this legislation. Call it whatever you like but they believe in what they are voting for and they stick together when they do it. Witness the votes I posted. The Dems on the other hand are not always so convinced about their convictions and hence you have split votes.
Neither party should vote for legislation they don't believe in. It seems that the Republicans are just better at it.
Jefferson was right, "The Republic isn't safe when the legislature is in sessiion!"