In order to afford extending Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy, plus his own new proposed tax cuts for the wealthy, John McCain has proposed some unspecified cuts in Social Security. Why won't he specify? Well:

"The lesson of history is that too many specifics at this point polarize the debate, that is the argument Carly was trying to make," Taylor Griffin said. "However, John McCain does believe that we can fix Social Security without raising taxes. As president, John McCain will call on Congress to develop a bi-partisan solution to Social Security — and if they won't, he will."

As Mark Kleiman says "'Too many specifics at this point polarize the debate' translates into English as 'If we told the retirees how completely we plan to shaft them, they might not vote for us.'"

I hasten to add: Not just retirees! One common scheme is to try to propose cuts that exempt current retirees and the soon-to-be-retired from any pain in favor of huge planned cuts for folks my age down the road on the theory that we don't really care about our future.