Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), is a conservative favorite, brimming with outside-the-box ideas to help revive the economy. While Ryan's colleagues love him, only 13 GOP House members have dared to endorse his agenda, which includes partial privatization (and some potential benefit cuts) for Social Security.
House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) made the mistake earlier this summer of stating the obvious — that eventually Social Security will have to be reformed. But Boehner and Ryan generated disapproval from many of their colleagues, who worry that Democrats are poised to pounce on the issue.
Most Republicans question why they should declare now — before the election — that Social Security should be reformed. Most politicians want cover, so they prefer to wait until the Deficit Commission issues its report in early December; Social Security reform almost certainly will be a key recommendation.
But the cat is out of the bag, which means people like my Mom will be scared this fall over charges that her Social Security will be cut.
This isn't the only issue that will be demagogued this fall.
The right wing blogosphere is ablaze with paranoid rantings about what might happen in a lame duck session of Congress — immigration reform (with amnesty), cap and trade, the card check bill for organized labor and, of course, massive tax hikes.
Except there's one problem — all of these provisions would require 60 votes to pass in the Senate, and there's no chance that could happen.