The President’s staff has tried to invoke President Clinton’s record on Social Security to sell President Bush’s plan to privatize Social Security.
I was there in the Clinton White House. Let me tell you what actually happened. President Clinton enacted fiscally responsible policies that strengthened Social Security and kept it solvent for more years than anyone thought possible. He made it very clear to the Congress and conservatives there who wanted to send surpluses on tax cuts that we had a moral obligation to “save Social Security first.” That’s what we did.
President Bush has pursued the opposite policy: raid Social Security first. In the first term, he squandered two trillion dollars of the surplus on tax cuts for the wealthy. Now he wants to take us two trillion more dollars into debt to pay for the dismantling of Social Security.
As President Clinton himself was fond of saying — “Mr. President, that dog won’t hunt.”