Pozen Blasts Bush Privatization Plans

President Bush’s Social Security plans just suffered another serious blow. Robert Pozen, whose “progressive indexing” plan was firmly endorsed by the president at a high-profile press conference last month, has said that Bush should drop his plans for private accounts.

Just out from CQ, password req’d:

[Pozen] said Wednesday that Bush should “back away” from the other half [of his Social Security plans] — the insistence that individual investment accounts be created in the program. …“I would advise the president to say that carve-out accounts are no longer required,” Pozen said in an interview after a debate at the American Enterprise Institute with Brookings Institution scholar Peter R. Orszag, a leading critic of Bush’s proposal. Bush, Pozen said, should indicate that he is “willing to have a package that, if otherwise satisfactory, does not have carve-out accounts.”

Not only that, Pozen challenged the wider theme that Bush has used to justify private accounts:


For many conservatives, the philosophical importance of creating accounts from the payroll tax cannot be understated. They believe it would turn many lower-income workers into investors, ushering in a new “ownership society”…

Pozen disagrees. … Talk of an “ownership society,” Pozen said Wednesday, is “a weak basis” for arguing for an overhaul.