President Bush is seeking public support for his economic agenda, urging Congress to pass his proposed budget and reforms to the Social Security retirement program.

Speaking in the midwestern city of Detroit Tuesday, Mr. Bush said his $2.5-trillion budget maintains discipline on spending while enabling the military and Homeland Security Department to protect Americans.

About Social Security, he said younger workers should be allowed to divert part of their taxes into private accounts that they could invest for a possibly higher return.

The speech was part of the president's effort to promote his plans, in the face of opposition from Democrats.

Opponents have called Mr. Bush's budget "irresponsible," noting that it does not take into account costs for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Democrats have likened Mr. Bush's Social Security plan to a form of roulette (gambling).