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January 19, 2005
Oh, That Crisis!

I've wanted to write on this for some time, but Jon Henke at the must-read QandO beat me to it. The Democrats have accused the Bush Administration of crisis-mongering on Social Security, which they claim remains strong and solvent. However, that's a far cry -- almost literally -- from the rhetoric used by the last Democratic administration in Washington:

* Gene Sperling - Clinton Economic Advisor: "this is a chance for both parties to actually show ... that we are saving more to meet the Social Security crisis in the future. If we don't do this, then we are just putting those burdens on a future generation." ...

* Senator Kohl - Democrat: Wisconsin [March 22, 2000]: "Comprehensive Social Security Reform is still necessary. Today's changes will do nothing to hold off the coming crisis that will begin when we start drawing down the Social Security Trust fund in 2014. Congress needs to deal with this soon, otherwise we are shirking our duty to the American people."

* WHITE HOUSE RELEASE [October 30, 1998] -- "It is normally impossible for any democracy to tackle long-term problems while the crisis is still only on the horizon. Putting the surplus off-limits until we address saving Social Security provides a strong impetus for all of us to do something to solve a fiscal challenge early so we can prevent a crisis later."

For good measure, Jon provides a number of quotes from Bill himself using the term "crisis" to describe the program's financial condition. How, then, can they complain when Bush says this:

A lot of government, if the truth be known, is crisis-oriented management. You know, we wait and wait and wait, and then the crisis is upon us and everybody demands a solution. The problem with that when it comes to a modernization of Social Security is, is that the longer we wait, the more expensive the solution becomes.

Jon has plenty more. Be sure to read his entire post.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at January 19, 2005 10:00 AM

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