Former Senator John Breaux (D-Louisiana), who co-chairs President Bush’s Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform, told a group of insurance executives in Washington October 11 that Social Security reform is off the table for this year but that the tax panel will present its recommendations to Bush on how to reform the tax code by November 1.
The tax reform panel was originally scheduled to hand over its recommendations by September 30, but the panel had to postpone two of its public meetings that were to be held in September. The first of the rescheduled meetings took place on October 11 while another meeting is set for October 18.
Breaux told attendees of the American Council of Life Insurers meeting that Social Security reform is dead in the water for now because Republicans “fear backlash” from the senior citizens who oppose any changes to the current system. He said many seniors want lawmakers to “fix” Social Security, but they don’t want Congress “to cut benefits or raise taxes,” he said. “This is an impossible challenge.” Some changes will have to occur before it can be fixed, he said.