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President Still Optimistic About Social Security

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President Bush stopped short Thursday of giving a detailed description of his plan for revamping Social Security.[@@]

But the president said during an evening news conference at the White House that he believes he can make headway despite polls showing that his proposal for creating a system of private Social Security accounts is facing high levels of opposition.

“The legislative process is just getting started,” the president said. “I’m optimistic that we’ll get something done.”

The president talked briefly about changes in the way the government adjusts Social Security benefits to respond to changes in prices.

In the past, policymakers have tried to use the political clout of the rich to protect Social Security benefits by providing equal benefits for rich Americans and poor Americans.

But the president said he now supports the concept of limiting inflation adjustments for high-income seniors while letting benefits for low-income income workers continue to increase faster than the rate of inflation.

The president also has suggested that any private Social Security account system should let participants invest in Treasury bonds as well as in variable investment funds.


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