Proving that he is indeed open to any new ideas to save Social Security, President Bush yesterday took a good look at the table. "I keep telling everyone that all ideas are on the table," said the president, and when I checked last night, sure enough, there they were."

Granted, there weren't that many ideas, and most of them could be tossed after a cursory reading. There was one that struck Mister Bush's fancy, however. A proposal by Senator Harry Reid of Nevada that would allow all workers to invest a portion of their retirement in a lottery account.

We spoke to the Senator about this proposal at the Claim Jumper Restaurant,  where the braised Red Ale ribs "are probably some of the best you will ever eat", according to Mister Reid.

"Scuse me, I've got my mouth full right now... Mmm. Here, try these beans. These beans are magic, the flavors practically stage a riot in your mouth, don't they? Mmm. Social security? Yeah, I'm for saving it. Big time, I'm a long time supporter. You know how I've been against these private investment accounts - I always say we shouldn't gamble with social security. Pass the rolls, please. Well, it occurred to me, what the heck am I talking about? People like to gamble, and people like social security, so why the heck not let them invest part of their retirement in a lottery account. Is that a cool idea or what? You're not only taking care of the folks, you're entertaining them at the same time."

"Why the heck not" seems to be the reaction of many of the nations lawmakers, who have offered bilateral praise for Reid's idea. "It's a corker," said Senator Trent Lott. "Let's give credit where credit's due. This is a victory for the people."


2005, Mark Hoback