February 10, 2006

Vice-President Cheney Talks About the Future, Part 1

Carroll Andrew Morse

WASHINGTON D.C. -- Vice-President Richard Cheney delivered his address at CPAC last night. The Vice-President’s remarks made clear what conservative beliefs are on a number of big issues and how they will mesh with Republican electoral strategy heading into the 2006 elections -- and beyond. The next few posts (time-wise, which means scroll up, not down) will explain the details…

1. Social Security reform is not dead. It has just been moved to the long-term list of goals rather than the short-term list.

I draw this inference from a single line in the Vice-President’s speech. At the very beginning speech, before he discussed tax-cuts, energy policy, or the War on Terror, he very conspicuously thanked “Students for Saving Social Security” for participating in the conference. This was the only issue group attending the conference (and there are a lot of them here) that he acknowledged directly.

Conservatives are beginning a drive to explain to the young’uns that Social Security can’t be there for them in the future its current form and to get them active in thinking about what the alternatives are. This may not pay any electoral dividends immediately, but unless the Democrats come up with a better plan than pay-more-to receive-less, Social Security could become an effective Republican issue far into the future.