Sunday, September 10, 2006

One more reason to vote Democratic: Bush wants to renew Social Security push after elections

Bush wants to renew Social Security push after vote

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President George W. Bush hopes to revive his plan to overhaul the U.S. Social Security retirement program if his Republican party keeps control of the Congress in the November midterm elections, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday.

Despite polls suggesting Democrats have their best chance in years to regain control of the House of Representatives, Bush told the newspaper in an interview he was confident a power shift was "not going to happen."

"I just don't believe it," he said, adding that if Republicans prevail at the polls, next year might be a good time to reintroduce the effort to reshape Social Security because he could "drain the politics out of the issue."

Bush was forced to abandoned his 2005 push to add private accounts to the retirement program, in part because of concerns among Republicans that the unpopular plan would jeopardize their chances in this year's elections.

Some Democrats have emphasized the Social Security reform plan in their campaign to oust Republican incumbents in November, contending it would inject too much risk into the program and push the government deeper into debt.

Bush made Social Security investment accounts a top domestic priority for his second term, arguing such a system would help young people by putting the retirement program on a more sustainable financial footing.