Bush’s Social Security reform not well received by Niles residents

Published 3:08 pm Saturday, February 5, 2005

By By ERIN VER BERKMOES / Niles Daily Star
NILES - The idea of Social Security reform hasn't been received well here by some.
A handful of Niles residents surveyed Friday said they don't like what they are hearing from President George W. Bush about his plan to reform Social Security in this country.
Bush stated in his Sate of the Union Address Wednesday that Social Security is headed towards bankruptcy and that we must join together to strengthen and save the program.
He also pleaded for people to be open minded, knowing that the Democrats are unified in opposing the recommendation of his proposed changes.
Michigan Democratic leaders unveiled two new websites and on-line petitions in Lansing and Grand Rapids Friday, inviting citizens to join them in the fight against Bush's plan to privatize Social Security.
U. S. Senator Debbie Stabenow called bush's proposal a "risky scheme" which could end up costing the Michigan economy "billions."
In a press release from the Michigan Legislature, it was estimated nearly 1.7 million people in Michigan receive more than $18 billion a year in benefits.
The already strained state resources would need to be stretched furthur, they believe, as the plan would cause many seniors to fall below the poverty line.
Although many of the issues dealing with this proposal remain unclear, while others, such as the fact that wage tax money would be diverted away from Social Security and would then pay for personal investments accounts, are quite clear.
Other options to fix the failing system are to limit the benefits of wealthy retirees, to raise the retirement age, to discourage early retirees from drawing checks and to just change the benefits all together.
Bush did emphasize that he has ruled out raising taxes to fix this problem.