|The Quad City Times in Iowa was one of the regional newspapers invited to speak to President Bush about Social Security in the Oval Office earlier this week. Bush is trying to take his privatization ideology "straight to the people", because so far most of the politicians have figured out it's a pretty awful idea.
Well, George, I'm afraid this idea didn't work too well either:
The Times sent veteran political reporter Ed Tibbetts to Washington for a special White House briefing with President Bush specifically to share insight with readers about this important debate.
Among the most critical questions: What is the president willing to accept in terms of raising the retirement age, curtailing benefits, increasing payroll deductions or extending the taxation to higher incomes?
On almost all, our president declined to share his thoughts. “The more I preclude ideas, it’s less likely something might come forth. This is going to have to be written by the Congress along with our input,” the president said.
We know from experience our President’s administration has a tough time processing information. Recall that cost estimates of the Medicare drug benefit weren’t even in reality’s ballpark. The Bush administration’s newest estimates are more than double what they swore to 20 months ago when pitching the plan to Congress.
And the president and staff missed wildly on weapons of mass destruction. Regardless of the war’s present outcome, Congress authorized a search and destroy mission for weapons, not the liberation of a country. That misinterpretation cost 1,462 American lives so far and affected millions more whose families have been directly touched by war.
Social Security affects many, many more — less violently for sure. But for the millions who will be absolutely reliant on that retirement or disability income, Social Security can be a life or death matter.
If the system indeed is in crisis, we can’t afford to guesstimate our way out of it.