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Administration urges Social Security reform

WASHINGTON (AP)— The Bush administration said in a report Monday that Social Security is facing a $13.6 trillion shortfall and that delaying needed reforms is not fair to younger workers.

A report issued by the Treasury Department said that some combination of benefit cuts and tax increases will need to be considered to permanently fix the shortfall. But White House officials stressed that President Bush remains opposed to raising taxes.

The Treasury report put the cost of the gap between what Social Security is expected to need to pay out in benefits and what it will raise in payroll taxes in coming years at $13.6 trillion.

It said delaying necessary changes reduces the number of people available to share the burden of those changes and is unfair to younger workers. “Not taking action is thus unfair to future generations. This is a significant cost of delay,” it said.

In another finding, the report said: “Social Security can be made permanently solvent only by reducing the present value of scheduled benefits and/or increasing the present value of scheduled tax increases.”

The paper went on to say: “Other changes to the program might be desirable, but only these changes can restore solvency permanently.”

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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