Bush to Revive Entitlement Debate

By Rosenblatt, Robert A. | Aging Today, September/October 2006 | Go to article overview

Bush to Revive Entitlement Debate


Rosenblatt, Robert A., Aging Today


President George W. Bush will revive the national debate over the future of Social Security next year, no matter what happens in the November elections. Even if the Democrats capture control of one or both houses of Congress, the president will once again promote his voluntary plan for personal investment accounts under which workers would be permitted to divert part of their Social Security taxes into stocks and bonds.

He failed to make the case to the nation in 2005 on this issue, but regards it as one of the most important pieces of unfinished business for his presidency. "Now is the time for the Congress and the president to work together to reform Medicare and reform Social security so we can leave behind a solvent balance sheet for our next generation of Americans," he said during a speech earlier this year. "If we can't get it done this year, I'm going to try next year. And if we can't get it done next year, I'm going to try the year after that, because it is the right thing to do."

The president and a majority of congressional Republicans generally say they believe Social Security and Medicare are worthy programs but are unaffordable in their current form. Republicans say revamped Social Security and Medicare programs would offer more options for citizens in decision making for their retirement and healthcare.

Democrats regard Social Security and Medicare as the core of their party's belief system, demonstrating daily that government can do good things for Americans. They want the programs preserved without significant alterations, although they would like to rewrite the Medicare prescription-drug law to give the government power to use its negotiating muscle with pharmaceutical manufacturers. Now the negotiating is done by insurance plans and HMOs. The president would never accept this change. Each side in the political wars will claim the election results validate their philosophy for dealing with Social Security and Medicare.

Social Security faces a cash flow squeeze in 2017, the first year in which benefits paid will exceed payroll taxes flowing into the system. Bringing in surplus money, Social Security now eases the massive federal budget deficit After 2017, the Social Security trust fund will begin liquidating the special bonds it has received in return for the surpluses it has been contributing to the U.S. Treasury since 1983. The bonds will be redeemed by 2041. Then Social Security would be able to pay only 73% of the benefits promised under current law.

CHOICES NOT SO SIMPLE

The choices are simple in concept if difficult in execution: Generate more money to fill that 27% gap needed to pay promised benefits, or reduce the size of the gap by spending less on benefits. In 2005, President Bush called for the creation of private accounts to make money available in retirement and proposed a major change in the benefit formula that would have reduced the size of future benefits (compared to current promises) for all those with earnings above $20,000 a year. …

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 ...
Default project is now your active project.
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 to Revive Entitlement Debate
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
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?

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

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.