May 2, 2001: Warning that benefits might have to be cut and taxes raised to shore up Social Security, President Bush formed a commission to study the entitlement program. Among the ideas discussed by his panel: Partially privatizing Social Security by giving younger workers the option of investing a portion of their funds in the stock market, which, it was believed, would generate higher returns. The partial privatization idea was a big part of his 2005 State of the Union address; and although Bush spent considerable time and effort pushing for his idea, it didn't go anywhere. Bush later said that encouraging debate on Social Security was one of the biggest achievements of his presidency.
Quote of the day
"If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich." — John F. Kennedy
More from West Wing Reports...
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why Mitt Romney is perfectly poised for a comeback in 2016
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- 8 secrets to steal from power networkers
- Why is the West so afraid of Islam?
- The Nazi smart bomb that inspired China's most dangerous weapon
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- The best places to find love — and lust — according to science
- How to make classic pulled pork
- Singapore's ruling party runs into trouble
- Why GOP reformers are bound to fail
Subscribe to the Week