Allan Hubbard

Allan Hubbard, the assistant to President Bush for economic policy and director of the National Economic Council, was Thursday's guest. Here are excerpts from his remarks:

On the US economic outlook, given fast-rising gasoline prices:

"Economists ... are good at wringing their hands. But there are fewer things to worry about today than there normally are.... Obviously, energy costs are a significant concern."

On Democrats and the campaign to reform Social Security:

"We are in constant dialogue with both sides.... [If] Senator Reid and Congresswoman Pelosi truly care about solving this problem, I don't understand how they can take the positions they have taken: not to consider a voluntary personal retirement account."

On Democrats' proposal to create private accounts outside Social Security vs. President Bush's plan to divert Social Security taxes into personal accounts:

"[The president] is willing to consider what people are calling add-on accounts. He certainly has not endorsed add-on accounts. It is fiscally irresponsible to be talking about adding ... demands on the federal budget, which most or certainly many add-on accounts would do. You can design add-on accounts that don't add to the budget deficit.... It is not off the table."

On whether the president will move on tax-reform legislation next year:

"I think we have to wait and see where we are with everything else."

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