In 2000, McCain touted a Social Security privatization scheme, not unlike the proposal Bush made in 2005. Eight years later, his campaign decided to go in a different direction. At least, that was the idea.
Sen. McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign Web site takes a different view, proposing “supplementing” the existing full Social Security system with personally managed accounts. Such accounts wouldn’t substitute for guaranteed payments, and they wouldn’t be financed by diverting a portion of Social Security payroll taxes.
Asked about the apparent change in position in the interview, Sen. McCain said he hadn’t made one. “I’m totally in favor of personal savings accounts,” he says. When reminded that his Web site says something different, he says he will change the Web site. (As of Sunday night, he hadn’t.) “As part of Social Security reform, I believe that private savings accounts are a part of it — along the lines that President Bush proposed.”
Oh my. It’s one thing for McCain to flip-flop from his position from 2000; that was eight years ago. But for the candidate to reject his own campaign’s policy position — after a year of campaigning — is just remarkable.
And for McCain to embrace Bush’s biggest domestic policy debacle is even harder to understand. Does the senator not remember the public's reaction in 2005?