Jed goes back to his paper as Toby asks, "When Social Security goes bankrupt, are we going to call that a benefit cut?" Jed gives Toby a look. Toby: "Let's talk to Gaines." Jed: "If it becomes public we've even discussed this, both sides'll go crazy. It'll jeopardize our whole agenda on the Hill." Toby suggests that he could do all the negotiating and leave Jed with total deniability. Yeah, I'll bet that works out. Jed: "And if it blows up, I'm supposed to pretend we've never met?" Toby: "We'll always have Paris." Bwah! Okay, that's probably the best laugh I've gotten from this show in ages. Toby reminds him of the disastrous direction in which Social Security is headed. I kind of think Jed knows all this, being a Nobel prize-winning economist and all. Oh, wait, that's for us dummkopfs. What, are the title cards on a coffee break? Toby rants on: "There's [sic] seventeen ways to fix it. Twenty years of blue ribbon commissions have told us how! This isn't a government program; it is a moral covenant. We don't want to be the administration that saves it from oblivion? We don't want that legacy?" Jed: "Social Security is the third rail of American politics: touch it and you die." He gets up and walks away. Toby stands up and says, "That's 'cause the third rail's where all the power is." Jed stops and says quietly: "Talk to Gaines. But just talk. And no one else in this building knows." Toby thanks him as Jed leaves.
C.J.'s fretting to Josh about how she has nothing to announce today: "Not even a warm front meeting up with a cold front. We've been over this: we need a hard new announcement each and every day or the press runs amok." Josh says it's Toby's job: "What am I, the White House Complaint Centre?" C.J. says he runs the policy shops: "Besides, Toby's avoiding me." Josh suggests, "Maybe no news is good news." C.J., obviously, feels that no news is extremely bad news: "If we're not running offence, we're running defence, and if we're playing defence, then there's some clever sports analogy that explains what happens then." Ha! Okay, that is definitely a shout-out. Josh: "We're screwed." C.J.: "That'll do." Josh wonders about the proposal to streamline the Federal Adoption Law. C.J. says, "[The] DPC says it's not ready, OMB says it's not revenue-neutral, and I'm declaring a war on all acronyms." Well, there's your news announcement. Next problem. Josh thinks there must be something going on: "It's a big government." Where are the Funnel People when you need them? C.J. reminds Josh about the time she apparently accused somebody of "welshing" on something and had to issue an apology to the Welsh people: "Slow news day." Carol comes up with a possibility: "The Argentine Economic Attaché's meeting at NEC today...." Josh: "There's your offensive play." Carol: "...on cabbage imports." C.J. tells Carol to bring him in around lunchtime. Josh pats C.J. on the back and says, "We'll find a better way to feed the beast." C.J.: "Please! 'Cause the alternative's that it feeds on us."