Dayton v. Kennedy

Returning Senator Mark Dayton to the Ranks of the Idle Rich in 2006


Not Running? Not So Fast

For all the talk that Rep. Gil Gutknecht wasn’t interested in running against Mark Kennedy, preferring to focus on his Pharmaceutical Market Access bill, Sunday’s Star Tribune suggests otherwise.

In an op-ed piece, the normal invisible Congressman from the First District makes a scene about Social Security reform, backing the President’s partial privatization plan to the hilt. In Gilly’s usual folksy way, he argues for a return of bipartisan support of Bush’s initiative, as there was for Clinton’s late 1990s focus on the program, before Congress plays the role of the iceberg to Social Security’s Titanic:

"We must act now across party lines to make Social Security as strong for our children as it has been for our parents."

So said President Bill Clinton during a radio address in 1998. Clinton recognized the same problem then that President George W. Bush recognizes today.

Some argue that we should wait until this is truly a crisis before attempting to solve this problem. I take a different view. Imagine an ocean liner headed for an iceberg 5 miles away. A course correction 5 miles out would hardly be noticed by the passengers, and the ship would pass by the iceberg with room to spare. However, if the ship waits until the iceberg is 50 yards away, and the captain then decides to alter course, a drastic turn of the rudder would knock passengers off their feet. The sooner we fix this, the less extreme the changes that will have to be made.”

Gutknecht is obviously setting himself up as the health care candidate of the 2006 race, trying to snag general election moderates and seniors with his prescription drug reimportation legislation and Republican delegates and younger voters with his support for Social Security reform. Despite his occasional wanderings off the Republican reservation, Gutknecht shows that he knows he has to get the GOP endorsement before he starts to worry about November as he finishes his piece with a shot at Senator Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV):

”In 1999, five years before he was elected Senate minority leader, Democrat Harry Reid of Nevada stated on Fox News Sunday that "most of us have no problem with taking a small amount of the Social Security proceeds and putting it into the private sector."

Most Americans agree. We must work together on a bipartisan basis to reform Social Security so that it continues to meet the needs of today's seniors as well as providing fairness for our children.”

--Posted by First Ringer


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