Corzine says Bush threatening future of Social Security with privatization plan

Saturday, April 27th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Senate Democrats are continuing to separate their support for President Bush in the war on terrorism from their strong opposition to his policies on such issues as Social Security.

In the Democratic radio address aired Saturday, Sen. Jon Corzine, D-N.J., said the party has an obligation to defend and strengthen Social Security.

``In recent months, President Bush and congressional Republicans have again pushed for raids on Social Security to finance tax breaks for large corporations, including _ incredibly _ a $250 million tax break for Enron,'' Corzine said.

``As you might imagine, these raids would jeopardize the long-term financial security of hardworking American families.''

Corzine voiced his criticism after acknowledging that Democrats ``stand with the president in the war on terrorism.''

But he accused Republicans of wanting to ``privatize Social Security, taking trillions of dollars from the fund to finance private accounts, and forcing deep cuts in guaranteed benefits.''

``Republican congressional leaders want to wait until after the fall elections before revealing their plans to privatize Social Security and cut your benefits. They want to sweep these cuts under the rug,'' Corzine argued.

The Senate and House have yet to debate any legislation seeking to overhaul the Social Security system.

In his campaign, Bush argued that allowing people to invest part of their Social Security contributions would allow them to maximize their money.

Corzine said the plan could mean retirees would end up with less money than under the current system.

``Social Security is the safety net of last resort for seniors, the disabled and families who lose a breadwinner,'' he said. ``Privatizing the program would shred that safety net.''