Bush's agenda: Social Security overhaul

Nov. 22, 2004 at 11:50 AM

WASHINGTON, Nov. 22 (UPI) -- President Bush intends to use his second term to embark on one of the boldest presidencies of modern times, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Monday.

Bush's two main objectives, according to insiders: remaking the Middle East and overhauling Social Security to allow workers to set up private accounts.

"This is world changing. It dwarfs everything else the Bush administration is talking about doing," said Grover Norquist, head of Americans for Tax Reform.

Norquist referred to Social Security as Bush's "legacy issue."

Bush has consolidated control of his administration, appointing insiders such as Condoleezza Rice as secretary of State, Alberto Gonzales as attorney general and putting Margaret Spellings in charge of the Department of Education, the Chronicle said.

In addition to his plans for Social Security and the establishment of a Palestinian state, Bush also has said he will appoint conservatives to the Supreme Court, overhaul the tax code and enact tort reform, the paper said.

Bush has some "big, big proposals for a second term," said Stephen Hess at the Brookings Institution.

"Whether he can pull it off is another thing, but as he says, he's got political capital in the bank, and unlike his father, boy he likes to spend it."

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