You know, whoever in FDRs brain trust thought up that phrase - social security! - was a rhetorical genius. It sounds so much deeper that "old age pension." But I digress (this time before I even get started).
Stealing and publicizing a couple more good takes on the issue this morning. Josh at Talking Ponts Memo thinks Bush is playing for the short term:
Bush figures that as long as current retirees are assured that their checks will keep coming in for the next decade or two, that they really don't care what sort of America their young grandchildren will be living in half a century or more from now. In other words, he looks at them and sees himself. But I think America is better than that. And if the facts can speak with as big a megaphone as the president's lies, then I think we'll see that.
It's an old labor negotiation tactic. The wage and benefits cuts are deferred to some hypothetical future workers, and the current employees, threatened with layoffs and immediate cuts, gets what it can in the present and sells out the future.
But the Washington Post notes that young people - the so called investor class that it supposed to be drooling at private accounts - actually favor the Democrats on this issue, and by a wider margin than any other age group. Some of this may be ripple effect from other issues too (the wars both Iraq and cultural); don't forget that young voters were also the most pro-Kerry age group.
My hunch is people are too busy with their real lives - building careers, raising families, blogging, watching Desparate Housewives - to spend all their time day-trading for retirement.