Fox News chief Washington correspondent Jim Angle criticized Senate Democrats in his report on the Senate Finance Committee's April 26 hearing on Social Security reform, claiming that their opposition to President Bush's proposed private accounts "does nothing to address the financial problems in Social Security." But neither would the establishment of private accounts, as even the White House has acknowledged. Angle also stated that the Democrats "didn't talk much about what they were for," but failed to note that Bush still has not presented Congress with his legislative proposal to address Social Security's solvency issues, which some Republicans have recently pressured him to do.
Bush himself has admitted that private accounts "will not fix the ailing Social Security system over all" [The New York Times, 3/23/05]. Bush has been under pressure from some Senate Republicans "to focus less on private investment accounts and turn more attention to solvency issues in the Social Security debate" [Associated Press, 4/13/05], and while Angle chastised only Democrats for not talking "about what they were for," he failed to note that Bush has not submitted a detailed proposal on Social Security to Congress. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), in public remarks the same day as the committee hearing, called on Bush to announce his plan to engage Democrats on the issue:
If President Bush wants to break the Social Security stalemate, he must put his own Social Security plan on the table, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham said Tuesday. The White House and Republican congressional leaders have often said that a plan to solve Social Security's solvency problem would originate in Congress. Putting a plan on the table would give the president "the political and moral authority to require the Democratic Party to do something more than just say no," said Graham, R-S.C. [The State (Columbia, South Carolina), 4/27/05]
From the April 26 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume:
ANGLE: Today was the first real test of whether Democrats are now willing to engage on the issue. They didn't talk much about what they were for, but made perfectly clear what they're against. ... But opposing personal accounts does nothing to address the financial problems in Social Security.