Mike McGavick's position on Social Security has become the issue, or really the question, of the week. Getting an answer has even become a contest on one of the most popular political blogs in the country.-the rest of the story here.
I can understand some of the curiosity because McGavick's campaign material doesn't say much about his position. On his Web site he says there should a system that allows people to give back Social Security money they don't need.
But I just finished a lengthy interview with McGavick about Social Security and he has a much more expansive platform. Here's his main three points.
1. He supports means testing, voluntarily at first but if people don't turn back enough money he'd support making it mandatory and creating income limits for benefits.
2. Benefit levels must be guaranteed for people at or near retirement age.
3. He wants a phased-in system of individually controlled, privately managed retirement accounts that could provide a higher yield than the government-run system, but would come with a lower guaranteed payment.
Does this mean he supports what President Bush proposed last year?
"I do not think the president's program was that well designed or that well promoted. But I think something like this with some hard bipartisan work could create a lasting solution for a problem that has cyclically dogged us for decades."
Josh Marshall is giving away a tee-shirt (and a special place in his new TPM Hall of Social Security Heroes) to whoever can get a straight answer from Mike! on Bush's plan to privatize Social Security.
Full contest rules later today.