A Well-Tailored Safety Net: The Only Fair and Sensible Way to Save Social Security

A Well-Tailored Safety Net: The Only Fair and Sensible Way to Save Social Security

A Well-Tailored Safety Net: The Only Fair and Sensible Way to Save Social Security

A Well-Tailored Safety Net: The Only Fair and Sensible Way to Save Social Security

Synopsis

This intriguing book introduces the first Social Security reform proposal tailored to meet the nation's fiscal challenges and care for an aging population.

Excerpt

I ambled into the largely empty White House briefing room for the first time early one morning in December 2004 and took a seat in the fifth or sixth row, where I could observe from a distance. Just assigned to cover the White House for Investor’s Business Daily, I was pretty excited, though a little intimidated, by the challenge ahead. But a few minutes later, I got a rude awakening. It turns out all the seats had attached nameplates and my seat was permanently reserved for the Washington Times. I jumped up and decided I’d be just fine standing by the door.

If you had told me what the future held on that nervous morning, I would have said you were crazy and had a good, hearty laugh. I didn’t set out to try and save Social Security or challenge the status quo in Washington. My only goal was to bring some fair-minded reporting to the economic issues I’d be writing about.

The administration had declared Social Security reform its top domestic priority, and I dived in to learn everything I could. By the end of April 2005, when President George W. Bush announced his plan to erase Social Security’s financing gap by slowing the growth in benefits, I had learned enough to know almost immediately that the plan would at best solve 50 percent of the shortfall. Nevertheless, the plan was attacked as “an assault on the middle class.”

All of Washington would soon declare Social Security reform dead, but as most members of Congress breathed a sigh of relief and my colleagues in the press moved on to the next partisan battleground, I felt that my job was unfinished. My reporting had revealed that there were legitimate reasons not to like major aspects of all the plans from across the political spectrum that had been offered and quickly cast aside, usually without any debate. But if none of these proposals made sense, what did? I felt that the issues at stake were too important to let go of without attempting to find . . .

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