What is the point of personal savings accounts (don't even think about calling them private accounts)? Are they supposed to strengthen Social Security? Or, are they being proposed because Social Security is a bad deal and Americans should be permitted to keep and invest their money for retirement?
Is it any wonder that the American people are confused? What are they supposed to do with a confused message that says, on the one hand, the system is broken and a bad deal for working Americans and, on the other hand, that we need to strengthen and save it?
One of Reagan's most famous speeches was the one he gave in Germany urging that the Berlin Wall be torn down. The person who wrote the speech relates that political operatives in the White House and State Department wanted this line removed. It only stayed in because Reagan himself insisted that it remain.
Bush needs to follow Reagan's example. He should forget the political games and have confidence that if he tells the simple and honest truth to the American people, they will understand and follow his leadership.
The simple truth is that the Social Security system needs to be replaced with one in which American workers retain their own money and invest in their own retirement accounts. Our task is to devise a plan to let workers opt for personal accounts. And, in the meantime, we must tap our resources to meet existing obligations to current retirees. That's it. Clear and simple.
Americans will understand this simple truth. And a fine senator from Pennsylvania will get re-elected.