One-Upmanship With Social Security: Ever since San Diego Mayor Pete Wilson, California's Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, proposed consideration of changes in Social Security as a means of making it solvent, Gov. Edmund G. Brown, his Democratic opponent, has been all over him like a duck on a June bug.
One possible change Wilson suggested studying would allow younger workers in the future to carry part of their retirement plans with private firms as well as Social Security.
Last week Wilson retaliated by releasing a poll purportedly showing that California voters like him a lot more than they do Brown in general and agree with him more on Social Security in particular.
The poll, taken Aug. 28 to 30 by the New York firm of Dressner, Morris & Tortorello, shows 49.5 percent of the respondents for Wilson, 38 percent for Brown, the rest undecided.
A majority had seen Brown's television commercials attacking Wilson's proposals.
Dressner's analysis was that, by 63 to 17 percent, people were less likely to vote for someone who says Social Security is just suffering from temporary problems, that they want someone who is willing to responsibly discuss long-term changes to put the program right.
Furthermore, the study concludes rather sniffily, only 24 percent believe anything Brown says anyway.