What The Hell Was That All About?
Read the text of Bush’s press conference tonight, and you’ll see that despite the announcements today from the White House that seemed to imply some new ideas on Social Security, there was zip besides the usual lies about the benefits of private accounts and the usual misstatements about the Trust Fund and a filing cabinet.
On Social Security
In 2017, the system will start paying out more in benefits than it collects in payroll taxes. Every year after that, the shortfall will get worse, and by 2041 Social Security will be bankrupt.
The system goes broke in 2041.
Third, any reform of Social Security must replace the empty promises being made to younger workers with real assets, real money. I believe the best way to achieve this goal is to give younger workers the option -- the opportunity -- if they so choose, of putting a portion of their payroll taxes into a voluntary personal retirement account. Because this money is saved and invested, younger workers would have the opportunity to receive a higher rate of return on their money than the current Social Security system can provide.
So, he’ll never give up on private accounts.
This is a problem that's been a long time in coming. We haven't had an energy policy in this country. And it's going to take us awhile to become less dependent on foreign sources of energy.And you’ve been president now for how long, and have done nothing?
Question: Do I read you correctly that the energy bill would not have had an affect on today's high gasoline and oil prices?
BUSH: It would have 10 years ago. That's exactly what I've been saying to the American people. Ten years ago, if we'd have had an energy strategy, we would be able to diversify away from foreign dependence.
But we haven't done that. And now we find ourselves in the fix we're in. It's taken us a while to get there, it's going to take us a while to get out.Ah, so it’s Clinton’s fault once again.
See, what they recognize is that what America recognizes and what Great Britain, France and Germany recognize, is that we can't trust the Iranians when it comes to enriching uranium; that they should not be allowed to enrich uranium.There’s your endorsement of the EU negotiations with Iran.
On The Economy
There's more to do to make sure that we don't slip back into slow growth or negative growth. One is to make sure taxes stay low. Secondly is to continue to pursue legal reform. I hope we can get an asbestos reform bill out of both the House and the Senate. There are some positive noises on Capitol Hill as to whether or not we can get an asbestos reform bill. That will be an important reform in order to make sure that our economy continues to grow.
And what exactly does providing litigation relief for Halliburton have to do with improving the economy of the entire United States?
On North Korea
And my point was that that it is best -- if you have a group of people trying to achieve the same objective, it's best to work with those people. It's best to consult.So consulting with allies is OK for North Korea, but not for Iraq because....
All in all, he answered one of the Social Security questions OK, and the rest of the show was at times hard to watch. He did seem to get peeved at reporters at times, and it turned out that NBC dumped him at the end for "The Apprentice", as did CBS and Fox.
That's when you know that you're a lame duck.