Social Security-Bush

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

President Bush is saying "no" to payroll tax hikes as a way to pay for Social Security reform -- but his spokesman's refusing to be that categorical.

Asked how he'll pay the estimated two (T) trillion dollar cost of setting up private retirement investment accounts, Bush declared, "We will not raise payroll taxes."

However, Press Secretary Scott McClellan says that doesn't mean he's rejecting a proposal by Senator Lindsey Graham. The South Carolina Republican would raise the income ceiling for payroll taxes. Currently, those taxes cut off at 88-thousand dollars.

The president spoke during an Oval Office meeting with Social Security's trustees.

Bush aides have suggested the cost of the accounts could simply be borrowed -- even though that would add to already massive government debt. But Bush says he's consulting with lawmakers before deciding on any specifics.

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