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Bush Calls For Urgent Social Security Reforms


President Bush is warning that the U.S. retirement benefits system will be bankrupt in the coming decades unless action is taken soon.

In his weekly radio address Saturday, the president urged lawmakers to work with him to re-vamp the system, known as Social Security. He said the U.S. work force has changed since the program was established in 1935, with people living longer and receiving more retirement benefits.

The president ruled out raising payroll taxes for the reforms. Instead, his plan would give younger workers the option of diverting a portion of their payroll taxes into private savings accounts.

He said if action is not taken to reform Social Security, the system will be bankrupt when workers who are now in their mid-20s retire.

Some Democrats question the need to re-haul Social Security and they decry the costs of such a plan. Critics say Mr. Bush's plan for reforming the system could require up to $2 trillion in transition costs.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters.

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