Bush Hints Social Security Cuts; Congress Asked to Share the Burden

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), February 3, 2005 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Bush Hints Social Security Cuts; Congress Asked to Share the Burden


Byline: Bill Sammon, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

President Bush told Congress last night in his annual State of the Union address that "you and I share a responsibility" to make sweeping changes to Social Security that he said might include, for those who are now younger than 55, cutting benefits and increasing the retirement age.

"Thirteen years from now, in 2018, Social Security will be paying out more than it takes in ... By the year 2042, the entire system would be exhausted and bankrupt," the president said as a chorus of "no" rose from the Democratic side of the chamber.

"I recognize that 2018 and 2042 may seem like a long way off. But those dates are not so distant, as any parent will tell you," he said, turning in the critics' direction. "If you've got children in their 20s, as some of us do, the idea of Social Security collapsing before they retire does not seem like a small matter. And it should not be a small matter to the United States Congress.

"You and I share a responsibility. We must pass reforms that solve the financial problems of Social Security once and for all."

It was the first time that the president openly discussed the possibilities of raising the retirement age beyond 65 and "limiting benefits" of Social Security.

In the first State of the Union speech of his second term and in contrast to those of his first term, Mr. Bush concentrated on domestic matters, including moral values, one of the key issues in his presidential win over Sen. John Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat.

"Our second great responsibility to our children and grandchildren is to honor and to pass along the values that sustain a free society. So many of my generation, after a long journey, have come home to family and faith and are determined to bring up responsible, moral children," he said. "Government is not the source of these values, but government should never undermine them."

In the 55-minute speech interrupted for applause 63 times, Mr. Bush ventured further than ever into the touchiest of all domestic issues - Social Security, which an aide to former House Speaker Thomas J. "Tip" O'Neill once dubbed "the third rail of American politics."

He discussed "discouraging early collection" of benefits, "indexing benefits to prices rather than wages" and "changing the way benefits are calculated."

"All these ideas are on the table," he said. "I know that none of these reforms would be easy. But we have to move ahead with courage and honesty."

Democrats savaged the president's Social Security plan in their response, which was delivered by Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California.

"It's wrong to replace the guaranteed benefit that Americans have earned with a guaranteed benefit cut of 40 percent or more," Mr. Reid said. "Make no mistake, that's exactly what President Bush is proposing."

In the foreign-policy segment of the speech, the president said America has entered a "new phase" in Iraq, which held its first free elections in a half-century over the weekend. He called for spreading democracy into other Middle East regimes.

For example, for the first time, Mr. Bush singled out Saudi Arabia and Egypt as Middle East regimes that need to move toward democracy. And he pledged $350 million to the Palestinian Authority to support "political, economic and security reforms."

"America will stand with the allies of freedom to support democratic movements in the Middle East and beyond, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world," he said, recalling the lofty rhetoric of his second inaugural two weeks earlier.

On Iraq, Mr. Bush said the election on Sunday "opens a new phase of our work in that country."

Although he refused to set "an artificial timetable for leaving Iraq, because that would embolden the terrorists and make them believe they can wait us out," Mr.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Bush Hints Social Security Cuts; Congress Asked to Share the Burden
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.