The issue of Social Security promises to be a major issue in
the upcoming presidential election.
President Bush's plan allows younger workers to invest part of
their Social Security taxes in individual savings accounts, an
approach called privatization.
"As we continue to work together to keep Social Security
strong and reliable, we must offer younger workers a chance to
invest in retirement accounts that they will control and they
will own," he said in his 2003 State of the Union Address.
argues that money invested in the stock market would grow much
faster than if it is cycled through the traditional Social Security
program. While many Democrats say the stock market is too risky,
and workers could lose their money if stock prices go down, the
president says he would create a program to help workers diversify
their investments and not "have all of their 'eggs in one
Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry is against privatization
and blames the president's tax cuts for wealthy Americans for
ruining the economy and endangering Social Security.
"I am strongly opposed to privatizing or partially privatizing
Social Security because it would leave beneficiaries vulnerable
to instability in the financial markets and would cost $1 trillion
to pay for, a cost we cannot afford given our skyrocketing deficits
and faltering economy," he told the Online NewsHour.
men have criticized Greenspan's suggestion of raising the retirement
age, and other proposals, such as not paying benefits to wealthy
Americans who do not need the checks to cover living costs.
The presidential candidates also argue that their very different
economic plans will reduce the deficit and balance the budget,
allowing lawmakers to postpone tough choices over who gets Social
Kristina Nwazota, Online NewsHour