Archive for Sunday, August 19, 2001

Democrats pan Bush on Social Security

August 19, 2001

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— Social Security is not close to bankruptcy and should not go to a system of private accounts as President Bush has suggested, Sen. Paul Wellstone, D-Minn., said Saturday.

Wellstone, in the Democrats' weekly radio address, said the retirement program will be able to pay all promised benefits until 2038.

"The president claims that we need to adopt radical ideas like privatization because Social Security is facing a huge and imminent crisis. That's just not true," Wellstone said.

"Understating Social Security's resources and grossly overstating its funding problems are scare tactics that I think the American people are too smart to fall for."

Wellstone criticized the work of Bush's Commission to Strengthen Social Security, which was formed in part to come up with ways to implement personal retirement accounts for younger workers. Proponents say those accounts, which could include investments in the stock market, would make up for the projected shortfall of funds coming from Social Security payroll taxes expected once baby boomers start retiring.

Those accounts are too dangerous, Wellstone said.

"Social Security is not in crisis. It is not broken. It is not facing bankruptcy. But Social Security is threatened today by proposals to replace the system with individual investment accounts and slash guaranteed benefits," Wellstone said.

"Democrats will fight against risky schemes that weaken Americans' retirement security, and hope that the president will support a bipartisan consensus to strengthen Social Security for future generations."

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