George W. Bush 2000 On The Issues
Governor Bush believes Social
Security is a defining American promise that must be kept. He will
not change benefits in any way for current retirees or those near
retirement. But to save Social Security for the next generation, he
will lead a bipartisan effort to reform it by giving individuals the
option of voluntarily investing a portion of their Social Security
payroll taxes in personal retirement accounts. These accounts will
earn higher rates of return and generate wealth that can be owned
and passed on from parents to their children.
Governor Bush's Approach
Commitment: Governor Bush will honor and strengthen Social
Security. He will protect all benefits for today’s seniors and
ensure that Social Security is available for their grandchildren.
The Need to Save Social Security: The Clinton-Gore Administration
has done nothing to save Social Security, even though the massive
Baby-Boom generation will begin drawing benefits eight years from now.
When Social Security first started, there were 42 workers to support each
retiree; in a few decades there will be only 2 workers per retiree. As a
result, Social Security benefits will exceed contributions beginning in
2015 and the system will go bankrupt in 2037.
Fresh Ideas: Without reform, Social Security benefits will have to
be cut by 30 percent or Social Security taxes will have to be increased by
50 percent. The only alternative is to increase the rate of return
workers receive on their payroll taxes. Workers already pay 12.4 percent
of their income into Social Security. The real return people get on this
investment is less than 2 percent a year. Over the long term, sound
investments in a balanced portfolio of stocks and bonds yield about a 6
percent return after inflation. Even the safest government bonds yield 4
percent. Thanks to the magic of compound interest, investing that
difference over a lifetime can show dramatic results.
Bipartisan Leadership: Governor Bush will reach across party lines
to save Social Security. Numerous reform-minded Democrats have joined
Republicans in an effort to save Social Security. These include Senators
Moynihan (D-NY), Kerrey (D-NE), and Breaux (D-LA) and Congressman Stenholm
Governor Bush's Reform Proposal
Governor Bush will build a bipartisan consensus to save Social Security
based on the following principles:
- Absolutely no change in existing benefits for retirees or
- The Social Security surplus must be locked away only for
- Social Security payroll taxes must not be increased.
- The government itself must not invest Social Security funds in
- Modernization must preserve the disability and survivors
- Modernization must include individually controlled, voluntary
personal retirement accounts, which will augment the Social Security
safety net. These accounts will earn higher rates of return, have
parameters of safety and soundness, and help workers build wealth that
can be passed on to their children.
Advantages of Governor Bush’s Personal Accounts
Unlike Vice President Gore’s retirement proposal, Governor Bush’s
personal accounts are part of Social Security and strengthen the overall
system. As a result:
- Social Security contributions will earn a higher rate of return,
allowing the system to survive without a massive tax hike.
- Personal accounts will allow everyone to build assets and
- If a young worker earning $20,000 a year invested just one-sixth of
her payroll taxes in a balanced fund of stocks and bonds, she would
likely retire with over $100,000 after inflation. She would own these
assets and could use them to supplement her retirement and pass them on
to her children.
Governor Bush has a strong record of bipartisan leadership, uniting
people behind common goals.
In Texas, he has successfully worked with a Democrat legislature to:
- Pass the first overhaul of the Texas Education code in over a
- Cut taxes by $3 billion.
- Significantly reform the civil justice system and the Juvenile
He will bring this same spirit of cooperation to saving Social
Source: George W. Bush for President 2000 Web Site
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