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
- After Ferguson: Stop deferring to the cops
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Don't argue about politics this Thanksgiving. Just don't.
- The hilarious hypocrisy of Republicans complaining about the imperial presidency
- Ferguson riots were terrible — but this racist reaction was worse
- Is it now OK to have sex with animals?
- In Ferguson, Michael Brown lost his life — and America's police lost the benefit of the doubt
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- How to survive a spaceship disaster
Subscribe to the Week