The Chronicle's road trip to Galveston

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It took a visit from President Bush, but the Chronicle has finally covered Galveston’s alternative Social Security program:

President Bush touted Galveston’s alternative public retirement system as family-friendly Tuesday as he sought to promote his own plan for Social Security private accounts.


In 1981, public employees in Galveston, Matagorda and Brazoria counties opted out of Social Security in favor of a private accounts system.

Although different in many key aspects from Bush’s proposal, the Galveston program and Bush’s plan embrace the concept that Social Security isn’t sacrosanct and that taxpayers are better stewards of their own retirement money than the government is.

Seated at the center of a U-shaped table, Bush walked participants through a discussion of the program’s success, noting that unlike Social Security, beneficiaries of the Galveston plan can bequeath their earnings to family members.

“Here, the government is saying ‘we trust you to make the right decisions for your family,’ ” Bush said. “It’s an interesting concept, isn’t it?”

(In about 10 days, we should expect a Chronicle editorial.)

At the end of the story, the reporters cite a new poll that “shows” decreased support for the President’s plan:

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll found that 51 percent oppose the accounts, up from 41 percent in mid-March. And support for Bush’s proposal to add private accounts to Social Security dropped to 45 percent from 56 percent in March.

Which would be worthwhile to note except that:

If you look at page 16 of the poll data, which can be downloaded from the Post’s article, it discloses that 35% of the poll’s respondents were Democrats, while only 28% were Republicans. Given that slightly more self-identified Republicans than Democrats voted in last November’s election, this represents an egregious, seven-point over-sampling of Democrats.

We know Cragg Hines isn’t a Power Line fan, but Julie Mason really should bookmark that blog.

RELATED: Covering Galveston’s Social Security program (blogHOUSTON)

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Anne Linehan is a co-founder of blogHOUSTON.