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The Case Against Benefit Cuts

The Case Against Benefit Cuts

BY Ramesh Ponnuru

The going is getting tough in Washington, so a lot of conservatives are going the other way. The White House is considering a Social Security reform that includes a substantial reduction in the growth of benefits. A number of influential conservatives say this would be "political suicide," to use the phrase favored by Newt Gingrich. Among the balkers are people who are usually White House allies, such as Gingrich and Grover Norquist. They are joined by Jack Kemp, longtime Social Security reformer Peter Ferrara, and some congressmen, all of whom want to push a personal-accounts bill with no benefit cuts. John Shadegg of Arizona, an influential House conservative, leans toward this camp.