A leaked White House memo on Social Security says President Bush should consider cutting benefits for future retirees.
President Bush's director of strategic initiatives, Peter Wehner, warns in the memo of serious economic consequences if Social Security benefits are not reduced.
Mr. Wehner says passing such reforms would rank as one of the most significant conservative governing achievements ever.
Some Democrats say the memo shows the administration will use scare tactics to push reforms.
White House spokesman Scott McClellan downplayed the memo Thursday, saying it was meant to describe the challenges facing the federal program. He emphasized the president has not decided how to change the retirement system.
The Social Security system is projected to start losing money in 2018 and run out of money in 2042.
Some information provided by AP and Reuters.