There've been a number of reasons in recent weeks to think that President Bush's plan for recasting Social Security is in serious trouble. (Desperate times call for... Tommy Lasorda?) If it's true that as California goes, so goes the nation, then Bush's privatization plan has taken yet another hit today. The Associated Press reports:
"Under pressure from firefighters and police officers, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Thursday backed off, for now, his plan to privatize California's public employee pension system.
"Over the past few weeks, Schwarzenegger has waged a campaign to put privatization on the ballot during a special election next fall. But on Thursday, he said he would wait until the June 2006 election if lawmakers did not craft a compromise measure in the coming months.
"'Let's pull it back and do it better,' said Schwarzenegger, flanked by more than a dozen police, fire and local government leaders. The move followed days of meetings with police and fire chiefs and survivors of firefighters and police officers killed in the line of duty, all of whom expressed concerns that the ballot language opened the possibility that the employees would lose death and disability payments."
The Governator and the Prez share something else in common now, too. According to the AP, a poll released Thursday by San Jose State University showed Schwarzenegger's job approval rating dipping below 50 percent for the first time since he took office.