NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Bush's Domestic Revolution

February 11, 2004

Since 9-11, discussion of President Bush's vision has been limited primarily to foreign policy and the Bush doctrine of "pre-emption." But while foreign policy legitimately has dominated, Bush has quietly pieced together a domestic policy vision that has just as much chance to be revolutionary, says Sean Tuffnell (National Center for Policy Analysis).

It is becoming clear the president wants to create an "Ownership Society." Ownership, in Bush's worldview, can take many forms and solve many problems. From retirement to health care, the goal is to move people from being dependent on the state to owners of their own security, says Tuffnell.

  • Bush's answer to reforming Social Security is to give all workers a stake in the future of our economy and the ability to increase retirement savings by establishing assets that can be passed on to their heirs.
  • He has proposed the creation of retirement savings accounts, which will benefit Americans at all income levels but especially low- and moderate-income families; the accounts will extend the benefits of Roth individual retirement accounts, in which deposits are made with after-tax dollars, so withdrawals are tax free.
  • His proposed health care tax credits will treat employer-sponsored health plans and self-insurance the same; this will encourage more of the uninsured to purchase private insurance policies.

The Bush domestic policy vision represents a sea change from past administrations. It is one of empowerment -- one that seeks to restore the notion of ownership instead of entitlement, says Tuffnell.

Source: Sean Tufnell (NCPA), "President launching a quiet domestic revolution, too," Dallas Morning News, February 8, 2004.


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