President Bush Addresses The Big ‘I’

April 21, 2005

President George W. Bush addressed his vision for Social Security and insurance issues before more than 1,000 independent insurance agents and brokers at the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America’s (the Big “I”) National Legislative Conference on Thursday.

The enthusiastic crowd welcomed the opportunity to hear the President’s insights into Social Security, asbestos reform, class action, and legal reform.

“The problem [with Social Security] is, our government has made promises to younger Americans that it cannot keep, and that’s important for our fellow citizens to know. It’s important for them to know there is a hole in the safety net,” said Bush. “In 2017, Social Security will start paying out more in benefits than it collects in payroll taxes… Now is the time for a civil debate on how to solve this national problem…We ought not to raise the payroll tax rate…We’ve got to make sure that the solution is a permanent solution, by the way, and not a temporary fix.”

Bush also touched on legal reform, an issue of keen interest to independent agents and brokers.

“I was proud to sign the Class Action Fairness Act, a good piece of legislation,” said Bush. “We need to take action on asbestos legal reform.”

“We pay for Medicare, we pay for Medicaid, we pay for veterans’ health benefits -all those costs are affected by junk lawsuits,” said Bush. “Medical liability reform is a national problem that requires a national solution, and now is the time for the United States Senate to listen to doctors and patients and concerned citizens – not to the powerful trial lawyer lobby – and get me a medical liability bill.”

President Bush is the fifth president to address the Big “I.” Presidents Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton also addressed the Big “I.”

“Presidents are considered great when they alter the course of history,” said Big “I” CEO Robert Rusbuldt. “President Bush has changed the world. The President is such a strong voice on issues our members are interested in, including Social Security and tax code reform, not to mention his successful push for class-action reform, medical liability reform, and more. Our members will return from this conference with a greater understanding of the issues we, as a country, and as an industry, are facing.”

“President Bush’s speech demonstrates he is clearly in touch with Main Street America’s concerns. His views spoke directly to our audience. Having the President of the United States speak directly to the Big “I” about the issues we care about on Main Street America is a true honor,” added Rusbuldt.

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