Oh boy ... If at first you don't succeed, etc.
According to a July 28th, 2000 article in USA Today, back in 1978 when President Bush was running for congress in Texas, "he predicted Social Security would go broke in 10 years and said the system should give people 'the chance to invest money the way they feel' is best."
1978 is in the pre-nexis era. So it's difficult to find coverage from the time if you're not on the scene. But presumably there are some local papers accessible on microfilm down in Texas that would shed more light on George W.: The Early Phase-Out Years.
(TPM's got a pretty sizable Texas readership. Anyone have a few hours free? A Special Edition Privatize This! TPM T-Shirt and a mug for any contemporary articles on President Bush's first Social Security scare campaign.)
Jill Lawrence has the byline for the piece. Let's ask her.
[ed.note: Credit to the folks at Center for American Progress for the find.]
Late Update: Here's a bit more information on The Early Phase-Out Years from a 1999 article in The Texas Observer ...
According to Gary Ott, who was then a reporter for the Plainview Daily Herald, Bush stopped by the paperâs little office "maybe five or six times. Heâd sit down at my desk; he was a fun guy. He was very outgoing, very friendly, and we would argue politics since I was a liberal. Weâd argue over Carter policies." Bush criticized energy policy, federal land use policy, subsidized housing, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration ("a misuse of power," he said), and he warned that Social Security would go bust in ten years unless people were given a chance to invest the money themselves. None of this really distinguished him from Hance, though, so in the end Bush simply argued that a Republican could better represent the district: "If you want a chance in the way Congress has been run, send someone who will be independent from those who will run the Congress."
So where are the microfilms of the Plainview Daily Herald?