NU Online News Service, Aug. 20, 2004, 2:23 p.m. EDT

An employee benefits lawyer is running for a U.S. Senate seat in Georgia as a member of the Libertarian Party.[@@]

Allen Buckley, a lawyer at Smith Moore L.L.P., Atlanta, has included a 3-step plan for reforming the Social Security program in his campaign platform.

Buckley wants to:

- Invest current Social Security program surpluses in stocks and other traditional pension assets, instead of lending them to the federal government’s general fund.

- Offer dollar-for-dollar, tax-free matching contributions for individuals born after 1985 on the first 2% of compensation contributed to individual retirement accounts or other retirement savings plans.

- Hold a national referendum on whether the federal government should use its general fund to make up for Social Security funding shortfalls. If the voters say no, then the government will have to cut Social Security benefits about 10%, Buckley says.

Buckley has a bachelor’s degree from Kent State University and a law degree from the University of Georgia. He also holds a master of laws degree from the University of Florida and the Certified Public Accountant professional designation.