President Bush today repeated his call for lawmakers to help him reform the Social Security system.[@@]
In a speech here in Washington at a gathering organized by the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America, Washington, the president argued that the system is heading toward failure and must be reformed to ensure that it “is there for our children.”
Without help, the president said, in the year 2017 more money will be coming out of the Social Security system than will be going in. The system will go broke in 2041, the president said.
“The longer we wait to fix this problem, the more drastic the solution becomes,” he said, adding that the Social Security trustees have told him that for every year the government waits before reforming the system, the cost of a solution goes up by $600 billion.
“If we wait, it’s conceivable that younger workers could have to pay a payroll tax of 18%,” Bush said. “That won’t work.”
Bush said “all ideas are on the table,” and he said he would consider any proposals offered to reform Social Security, regardless of where they come from. “If someone puts an idea on the table,” he said, “you can rest assured that the White House won’t attack them.”
But Bush said he opposes any “temporary fix” and also opposes raising the payroll tax.