Friday, February 02, 2007

Social Security "Reform" Hopes Still Alive

Republican moneyed types view self-directed (or "privatized") Social Security accounts as opening vistas of opportunity to separate novice investors of their lucre.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson conceded on Friday that chances were slim for agreeing on a way to reform Social Security financing but said he would keep trying to find bipartisan support for it. ...

The U.S. Treasury chief has been meeting Democrats privately on Capitol Hill to try to find grounds for agreement on a method for reforming Social Security before the retirement system comes under severe pressure as more "baby boomers" retire.

Democrats, however, are suspicious that the Bush administration wants to revive its proposal to make private accounts part of Social Security as it unsuccessfully sought to do in 2005.

Paulson's comments on Friday implied he did not think the chances were high for finding a bipartisan solution.

"If we don't, I still see it as a win-win situation because it's my job to block for the President as we move the ball downfield and, to me, if we move it 10 or 20, or 30 yards it's going to be a positive," said Paulson, using football terminology that reached back to his own varsity playing days.

"Maybe we'll score a touchdown. Maybe we'll bring people together," he said. "But if we don't, we want to get the ball in scoring position for the next president."

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