This partial transcript of Fox News Sunday, August 19, 2001 was provided by the Federal Document Clearing House. Click here to order the complete transcript.
The fight over whether President Bush is raiding Social Security is kind of fun, but it's absurd. Democrats are demagoguing and they know it. If George W. Bush is raiding the system, then so has every president in the last half-century.
Here's why. The federal government gets its revenues basically from two streams, income taxes and FICA taxes. And the two merge into one big river of moolah. Nobody can tell which dollars belong in which account, so Congress spends what it wants and leaves the rest for Social Security and Medicare.
On the other hand, the president made a rash promise not to touch Social Security, but, as I've just noted, nobody knows exactly how much money goes into that system. So he's made himself hostage to government revenue estimates, which, by the way, are always wrong.
If Mr. Bush wants to lead, he ought to do a few simple things: abandon the lockbox nonsense. Just tell us how much the government ought to spend, how much we deserve to keep and what he intends to do about it. That would set off a fight very much worth having.
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