Bill Greider boils down the attempts by Blue Dogs, Jim Cooper, the Pete Peterson folks and others to loot Social Security:
Follow the bouncing ball: Washington first cuts taxes on the well-to-do, then offsets the revenue loss by raising taxes on the working class and tells folks it is saving their money for future retirement. But Washington spends the money on other stuff, so when workers need it for their retirement, they are told, Sorry, we can’t afford it.
The Peterson creeps are spending a million dollars to launch their attack on Social Security (they recently held a press conference with Cooper). But they’d rather the process be somewhat less than Democratic:
But Peterson does not want Congress to have a full, freewheeling debate on the particulars. The reform package, he suggests, should be submitted to a single "up-or-down vote by Congress, as is done with military base closings." That’s one of the gimmicks intended to give politicians cover and protect them from their constituents. It is profoundly antidemocratic. But that’s the idea–save the government from the unruly passions of citizens. Peterson’s proposal also resembles the notorious fast-track provision, which for years enabled presidents to steamroll Congress on trade agreements, no amendments allowed.
This echoes Cooper’s wish to have a panel on "fiscal responsibility" whose recommendations cannot be amended by Congress. (A February summit, convened by Obama, will include Kent Conrad, Judd Gregg, conservative Blue Dogs and "a host of outside groups with ideas on the matter" — presumably the Peterson folks will be there. No progressive participants have been announced.)
I guess having public approval isn’t considered necessary to the task at hand.