In an interview with the Washington Times published yesterday, House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) promised to privatize Social Security:
Q: Where does Social Security reform stand?
A: I just met with Congressman [Frank R. Wolf, Virginia Republican], a few minutes ago with his SAFE Commission [formed to fix the entitlement programs]. In 1990 when I first ran for Congress, I talked about the need to reform these big entitlement programs because the sooner we began the process, the easier it would be to make the necessary changes so that these programs were sustainable for the long term. … If I’m around in a leadership role come January, we’re going to get serious about this.
Privitization plans championed by Boehner and others would sharply cut guaranteed benefits and are opposed by the overwhelming majority of Americans. Nevertheless, Boehner is just the latest prominent conservative to reaffirm his commitment to privatize Social Security in the months and years to come.
President Bush, 6/27/06:
Now is the time for the Congress and the President to work together to reform Medicare and reform Social Security so we can leave behind a solvent balance sheet for our next generation of Americans. … If we can’t get it done this year, I’m going to try next year. And if we can’t get it done next year, I’m going to try the year after that, because it is the right thing to do.
White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten, 6/17/06:
Looking ahead to next year, he is trying to lay the groundwork for a renewed effort to reform Social Security and Medicare, the federal health-care program for seniors. He suggests Mr. Bush and his aides may have learned from their failed attempt to push through Social Security reform in 2005.
House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Chairman Jim McCrery (R-LA), 6/6/06:
Congress should make Social Security overhaul its top priority next year, while a rewrite of the tax code and revamping the nation’s healthcare system probably will wait until at least 2009, House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Chairman Jim McCrery, R-La., said today.