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The Predictable SurpriseUnraveling the U.S. Retirement System$
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Sylvester J. Schieber

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199890958

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199890958.001.0001

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Policy Stalemate at the Demographic Divide

Policy Stalemate at the Demographic Divide

(p.102) 10 Policy Stalemate at the Demographic Divide
The Predictable Surprise

Sylvester J. Schieber

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the policies of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush concerning Social Security. The 1994–1996 Advisory Council on Social Security appointed by Clinton came up with a single set of marginal recommendations to keep the existing structure standing. Among the issues considered by the council were the adequacy of retirement benefits and equity for people at different ages and income levels, as well as in various family patterns. Before he became president, Clinton had helped organize and lead the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) to develop centrist analyses of various social problems and solutions to resolve them. The DLC would be vital in any Clinton effort to move forward on Social Security reform. In early 1998, Clinton launched a year-long, bipartisan national conversation about America’s aging population and Social Security financing. When Bush took over, his conclusions about Social Security were similar to those reached by Clinton, suggesting the possibility of common ground for Republicans and Democrats.

Keywords:   retirement benefits, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Social Security, Democratic Leadership Council, reform, financing, Republicans, Democrats

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