Wait a Minute – This Guy was Bush’s Treasury Secretary?

From Holden:

Paul O’Neill doesn’t care much for Bush’s plans to “reform” Social Security or the tax code.

Former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill, fired two years ago after criticizing President George W. Bush’s tax cuts, said today that White House plans to overhaul Social Security and the tax code are inadequate.

O’Neill, Treasury secretary from January 2001 to December 2002, was fired in December 2002 after raising doubts about the need for more tax cuts. In an interview from Pittsburgh, O’Neill said he doesn’t support Bush’s plans for Social Security.

“What I know that they’re talking about is pretty weak tea in terms of dealing with the fundamentals,” O’Neill said. “I believe that we are sufficiently wealthy as a society that we should have a new dream about what we expect.”


“We should begin by mandating on ourselves as citizens that we’re going to save enough in our working lifetime so at 60 or 65 all of us have a $1 million annuity,” O’Neill said. “We should say to people it’s a mandate and then recognize that people don’t earn enough money to accumulate $1 million and the rest of us in society through a tax system should make annual contributions to the accounts of those people.”


“The conversations I’ve seen so far don’t approach my notion for how we should think of fundamental tax reform,” O’Neill said. “I’d advocate a tax that raises revenue. I’m for a progressive tax system. I’m for starting with a premise that we should get rid of all credits and deductions and tax income straight up.”