4.29.2005

Just A Pile of IOUs That the Gov't Cannot Take Away

GW Bush, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, March 30, 2005
...what happens is we take your money, we pay money out for the promises for those people who have retired, and if we've got anything left over, we spend it on things other than Social Security.... And what's left are a pile of IOUs, paper.
GW Bush, Parkersburg, West Virginia, April, 5, 2005:
There is no "trust fund," just IOUs that I saw firsthand, that future generations will pay -- will pay for either in higher taxes, or reduced benefits, or cuts to other critical government programs.

The office here in Parkersburg stores those IOUs. They're stacked in a filing cabinet. Imagine -- the retirement security for future generations is sitting in a filing cabinet. It's time to strengthen and modernize Social Security for future generations with growing assets that you can control, that you call your own -- assets that the government cannot take away.
Later, in the same speech:
I think people ought to have...the chance to tap into the power of compound interest; the ability, if they so choose, to watch their money grow in an account, a savings account of bonds and stocks. That's why I proposed that Congress consider allowing younger workers to set aside part of their Social Security contributions in a voluntary personal retirement account.
...
I hear from a lot of younger folks, a lot of your grandchildren are saying, what you going to do about it, Mr. President, and, by the way, just give me a chance to make decisions for myself; give me a chance to build up hard assets, instead of paper assets in a file cabinet.
GW Bush, Press Conference, April 28, 2005:
I know some Americans have reservations about investing in the stock market, so I propose that one investment option consist entirely of Treasury bonds, which are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government.
(Emphasis mine.)

So...Bush wants to create private accounts so young folk like me can invest in a "conservative mix of stocks and [treasury] bonds," which are "assets that the government cannot take away," in part because the bonds are "backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government," despite being "just IOUs," "paper assets in a file cabinet" instead of "hard assets." Uh, yeah...that makes perfect sense....

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