Little Scottie held forth briefly aboard Air Force One today.
Q Back on Social Security for a minute. The so-called scare tactics, to use your word, have they worked? Are you up against — especially given the complexity of the issue, do you worry that some of these tactics, as you called them, used to get messages to seniors have been persuasive and that you’re now trying to combat that?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, these are scare tactics that have been used for years. I mean, we have seen in a number of elections, including the President’s and including a number of members of Congress, that running on an agenda to strengthen Social Security is a winning issue. The American people have elected members of Congress who ran on a platform of fixing the problems facing Social Security and strengthening it for our future generations. But these scare tactics have been used for quite some time. I think the dynamic is changing, because seniors are recognizing that this isn’t about their Social Security plan. The Social Security plan today is working just fine for today’s seniors, but we know it’s on an unsustainable course. That’s why we need to find a permanent solution to it and fix it, once and for all, so that it is there for future generations.
Well, Scottie is right about one thing: the dynamic is changing. The Washington Post documents the changind dynamic below.
Barely a third of the public approves of the way President Bush is dealing with Social Security and a majority says the more they hear about Bush’s plan to reform the giant retirement system, the less they like it, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
[O]n Social Security, the president’s popularity continues to decline. Thirty-five percent of those surveyed said they approved of the way Bush is handling Social Security, down three points since January and the lowest level of support for Bush on this issue ever recorded in Post-ABC polls.
Nearly six in 10–58 percent–say they are more inclined to oppose administration’s reform plans as they learn more about it. Only a third say they are more receptive to Bush’s proposals as more details become available.