Bush Can Blame Himself for One Obstacle

Friday, March 04, 2005

Bush Can Blame Himself for One Obstacle

What are the major obstacles faced by President Bush's private-accounts proposal for Social Security? The AARP? Congressional Democrats?

National Review's Deroy Murdock writes that Bush and the Republicans have themselves to blame for at least one of these obstacles. He points to the Medicare prescription drug program that Bush supported and GOP leaders pushed through the House in shameful fashion.

Murdock writes:
Like air in a vault, tax dollars are finite. Cherished Republican valuables — personal retirement accounts, an expired “death tax,” permanent Bush tax cuts, critical national-security spending — all compete for oxygen against a swelling Medicare drug hog that pants with increasingly labored breaths.

Unless revenues suddenly flow in — as if from a just-opened cooling duct — Republicans will have to pick either these vital economic reforms or a sweaty, voracious pet that will asphyxiate these free-market treasures.
Murdock notes that the pricetag for this drug benefit now stands at $724 billion -- a figure that's 83% higher than the Bush administration's original 2003 estimate.

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