Friday, February 04, 2005

Clinton in 1998: "Save Social Security first!"

I posted an entry in January about that (link here). Bill Clinton first mentioned this in 1998 during his State of the Union address. (Sidebar: Notice that as much as Republicans detested Clinton, they never booed or catcalled at his SOTU speeches? Yet liberals the other night booed and catcalled Bush's speech, like the classless and childish little brats that they are).

According to Byron York's column at National Review Online:
In 1998, the major policy question in Washington was what to do with enormous anticipated federal budget surpluses. Republicans, arguing that a surplus meant the government was taking in too much money, wanted to cut taxes. Clinton wanted to kill any tax-cut proposal before it had a chance to gather support. So in his 1998 State of the Union speech, he came up with a famous slogan.

"What should we do with this projected surplus?" Clinton said. "I have a simple four-word answer: Save Social Security first."

Soon Clinton was going around the country, touting a coming Social Security "crisis." All of his administration's economic achievements, he said in February 1998, "are threatened by the looming fiscal crisis in Social Security." There should be no new spending — or, more importantly, no tax cuts — "before we take care of the crisis in Social Security that is looming when the baby boomers retire."
The column is great, and it's short, so please read it. It nails the hypocrisy of the left, just like my prior posting did. Granted, York does it better and with more research and quotes!

Gore said that in coming years — by 2032 — "Social Security faces a serious fiscal crisis." Everyone in the group stayed remarkably on-message as they warned that the future was dire.

"Save Social Security first," said Gore.

"Save Social Security first," said Gephardt.

"Save Social Security first," said Kennedy.

"Save Social Security first," said Boxer.

Today, some of those same lawmakers are leading the opposition to President Bush's initiative and no longer fear a crisis in Social Security. And indeed, by 1999, after GOP tax-cut proposals had been defeated and he escaped conviction in his Senate impeachment trial, Social Security's future became a less urgent issue to Clinton. In his 957-page autobiography, My Life, Clinton included no extended discussion of Social Security at all.
Basically, Clinton and the libs didn't want to give a tax cut, so they said we needed the "surplus" (which, by the way, wasn't even a real surplus...another topic for another day) to shore up Social Security and save it. Now that there is no surplus, they say Social Security is fine and we need to leave it alone.

Huh? There was plenty of money to save a deathly-ill Social Security in 1998 and 1999, but now there's no problem with Social it got better funded as the treasury lost money? Further proof at how far removed from basic economics the left is.