It shouldn't be big news that Paulson says there are "no preconditions" for talks on Social Security reform. After all, rationally discussing all available options is what sane people do when confronted with a problem.
But of course, the last six years have not been a time for rational discussions, or for keeping all options on the table. The President in particular has been adamant that tax hikes simply cannot be part of the debate over funding Social Security. Even now, the White House website's Social Security page tartly announces in boldface type that when it comes to reforming Social Security,
"President Bush has pledged to work with Congress to find the most effective combination of reforms. He will listen to any good idea that does not include raising payroll taxes."In other words, when you've been living in Bizarro World for six years, returning to reality is worth celebrating a bit. Check CTJ's website soon for a detailed analysis of options for reforming the funding of Social Security.