Bush Commission Warns of Social Security Trouble

Commission members said the government will have to raise taxes or cut benefits unless workers are allowed to invest part of their Social Security taxes in the stock market.

“Unless we move boldly and quickly,” the report says, “the promise of Social Security to future retirees cannot be met without eventual resort to benefit cuts, tax increases or massive borrowing.”

The 16-member bipartisan committee concluded that the federal program could be in trouble as early as 2016. Most public concern about Social Security usually focuses on the year 2038.

By then, the report says, the trust funds will be depleted, and the system would only be able to pay 72 percent of promised benefits.

Critics, including House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt, (D-Mo.), say the report greatly exaggerates the program’s status. Some alleged the administration was trying to create a crisis in order to help sell the idea of private investment accounts.

“The president’s commission has published a misleading, misguided report that is one of the most skewed documents I have seen in many, many years,” Gephardt said.