December 9, 2004
HEY, DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THE ELECTION?:
Speculation Grows on Social Security Fix (Kelley Beaucar Vlahos, December 07, 2004, Fox News)
Getting started on the topic, 16 congressional leaders met Monday with Bush to discuss the alternatives being offered by lawmakers and to consider what kind of proposal the White House will make regarding the big Social Security fix.
Bush campaigned for re-election on private investment accounts for workers, who would be able to set aside a portion of the taxes they pay into the system for a separate, wholly owned retirement fund, as recommended by the commission he appointed to study various Social Security reforms in 2001. The commission suggested allowing diversion of 2 percent of contributions from employees into private accounts. The remaining 4.2 percent, and the taxes employers pay, would go into the system to help pay for benefits for current retirees.
White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Monday that the president has not endorsed any specific plan yet, but he expects that the "upfront transition financing" — now estimated at $2 trillion — will be paid for with government borrowing.
"Under the current system, the cost of doing nothing is $10 trillion over the long haul," McClellan said.
The president is expected to make a major announcement during his economic conference at the White House later this month, but until he does, speculation is running high regarding what members of Congress will have to fight for — and against — in the upcoming debate over Social Security. [...]
Sen. John Kerry is in line to be the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, which will be the first to handle proposals in that chamber. He has said he opposes what he calls Social Security "privatization schemes," and has vowed to fight them off in the upcoming session.
Well, the Senator is best known for his lack of a single legislativbe achievement--only fitting that the most important reform since the New Deal not bear his fingerprints either.
Posted by Orrin Judd at December 9, 2004 8:23 PM