Relentless Pursuit of Wisdom and Liberty

The weblog companion of, dedicated to pondering, "If Patrick Henry could see us now..."

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Fantastic Bush quote from today's press conference

Transcript here:
Q - Mr. President, on Social Security, you say the math clearly shows -- as you know, most of us became reporters because of our deep affection for math -- if the math clearly shows it, why are you having so much trouble on the Hill getting some to share your urgency? Do you think they're looking at the numbers differently, honestly, or are they running from the third rail?

THE PRESIDENT: Glad to have you here. (Laughter.) I am going to continue to speak directly to the American people about this issue and remind them about the math; and remind them that if you're a senior, nothing changes; and speak to the younger folks coming up about the forecasts. I mean, if you're a 20-year-old person and you look at the math, you realize that you will inherit a bankrupt system, which means either there will be significant benefit cuts or significant payroll tax increases in order to fund that which the government has laid out for you as a part of your retirement.

And the Congress tends to listen to the people. And so I will continue to speak to the people and at the same time, reach out to members of both parties. We have been through these kinds of questions before in my early press conferences. I can remember -- I can't remember exactly the questions, but I do remember the tone, about people saying, how can you possibly get tax cuts through the Congress when so-and-so said that they shouldn't be done, or such and such said this, or this report said that, or the American people didn't want this. And so I am heartened by past experiences to believe that it is possible to do big things in Washington, D.C. And I look forward to working with members of the Congress to achieve big, notable reform.
One of the greatest benefits of holding a principled outlook and perspective on the political issues of today is that you're only ever tied to what is right and what is best - and the possibility of a change of opinion is always there as new data discovery and discussion continue to take place - and you're never tied to the positions of a single person or a single party. I've had my doubts about Bush and there have been positions and actions of his that I've agreed with and others that I've disagreed with. This answer to the tough Social Security questions he's facing and his (so far) rigid steadfastness in taking on the proverbial "third rail" and not backing down earn him my respect and support.


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