Social Security Reform Dicey for McCain

GOP candidate talks up privatization; Dems promise stiff opposition
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 14, 2008 11:26 AM CDT
With a picture of him seen on the wall, Republican presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., visits his campaign headquarters in Phoenix, Sunday, July 13, 2008.    (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
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(Newser) – John McCain has opened a political can of worms by embracing the polarizing issue of privatizing social security, the Los Angeles Times reports. McCain says making young workers pay into a plan unlikely to benefit them is a "disgrace." Counters a rep for one group planning to fight the GOP candidate: "This could well be McCain's Achilles' heel with … the baby boomer generation."

Though some criticize McCain's plan as incoherent, his advisers say they learned lessons from President Bush's failed overhaul push in 2005. "The history on Social Security has been if you put out specific proposals or preconditions, you polarize the debate and the deal doesn't get done," McCain's economic adviser said.