Last year, even though Bush talked endlessly about the supposed joys of private accounts, he never proposed a specific plan to Congress and never put privatization costs in the budget. But this year, with no fanfare whatsoever, Bush stuck a big Social Security privatization plan in the federal budget proposal, which he sent to Congress on Monday.
His plan would let people set up private accounts starting in 2010 and would divert more than $700 billion of Social Security tax revenues to pay for them over the first seven years.
If this comes as a surprise to you, have no fear. You're not alone. Bush didn't pitch private Social Security accounts in his State of the Union Message last week...
Nevertheless, it's here. Unlike Bush's generalized privatization talk of last year, we're now talking detailed numbers. On page 321 of the budget proposal, you see the privatization costs: $24.182 billion in fiscal 2010, $57.429 billion in fiscal 2011 and another $630.533 billion for the five years after that, for a seven-year total of $712.144 billion.
Bush wasted millions of dollars of taxpayer money flying all over the country last year pushing privatization. What did all of this show? That Americans overwhelmingly were against privatization and wanted Social Security strengthened - not privatized.
Once again, Bush and his administration show that they can't be trusted to govern according to the will of "the people."