NU Online News Service, March 3, 2005, 3:15 p.m. EST

Talking to young constituents about Social Security solvency is a sobering experience, according to Rep. John Kline, R-Minn.[@@]

Kline recalled a recent attempt Wednesday while speaking on the House floor in support of efforts to reform the system.

“Just this last week when I was back in my district, I was visiting one of the high schools,” Kline said, according to a version of his remarks printed in the Congressional Quarterly. “I had a group of students, about 3 classes, and we were discussing a large number of subjects, everything from the war to taxes to education, and one of the subjects was Social Security.

“I said, how many of you believe that Social Security is going to be there when you retire. Just asked the basic question. Not a hand went up. I thought, well, maybe they are just a little shy and do not want to raise their hand. So I reversed the question. I said, how many of you believe that Social Security will be gone when you retire? And about a third of the hands went in the air.”

Kline’s remarks are on the Web at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/F?r109:9:./temp/~r109LwzsfH:e20149: