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3/04/2005

Bush in New Jersey

David Stout, NYT:

"I didn't run for office to dodge problems," Mr. Bush said in Westfield, N.J., where he once again promoted the idea of optional private investment accounts within the retirement system for younger workers.

The president said he had a message for those younger workers: "You better listen carefully to this debate, because you're the ones who are going to have to pay for it. And if I were you, I'd be saying, 'Well, if we have a problem, Mr. President, what do you and the Congress intend to do about it?' "

The Senate minority leader, Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, said Democrats had an answer, drawn from the age-old words of Hippocrates: "First, do no harm."
Bush isn't doging problems, he's creating them. We who support Social Security have dropped the ball a bit in accepting the SS Trustees/CBO figures as accurate predictions, instead of what they really are: mere guesswork, and in the case of the Trustees, guesswork produced by partisan appointees. There is no decent evidence for the proposition that Social Security will begin paying out more in benefits by 2018/19. The pessimistic assumptions underlying those models are what we need to be fighting against, not just meekly accepting them.

Productivity growth, GDP growth, and the share of national wealth dedicated to wages are not received from on high. They are things directly impacted by our fiscal decisions. Our policies should be focused on preventing mediocrity, not managing it.

 

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