House Ways and Means Chairman Bill Thomas (R.-Calif.), a “moderate,” told a forum sponsored by the National Journal this week that President Bush’s Social Security reform proposal would “soon be a dead horse” because, “Every breath that’s spent on discussing that plan is an attempt to lay a political ground war for the next election.” Thomas, who is not enthusiastic about Bush’s central proposition of creating Social Security personal retirement accounts, is pushing his own plan to tie overall tax reform to Social Security reform–and thus make the entire domestic policy debate revolve around his committee. “What I’m trying to get people to do is get out of the narrow moving around of the pieces inside the Social Security box,” Thomas (lifetime American Conservative Union rating: 80%) was quoted saying by the Washington Post–which ran his negative comments about Bush’s plan above-the-fold on its front page.
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