Tuesday, March 15, 2005

More Problems for Bush's SS Plan.

The LA Times reported more problems for Bush's Social Security phase-out plan.

By Peter Wallsten, Times Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — Signaling more troubles ahead for President Bush's campaign to overhaul Social Security, a group representing the nation's biggest financial companies said Monday that it had decided not to renew its membership in a business coalition raising millions of dollars to back the effort.

The Financial Services Forum, which represents chief executives from such corporate heavyweights as American Express, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, was a co-founder of the Coalition for the Modernization and Protection of America's Social Security, or Compass. But it left the coalition last month after its members failed to agree on Bush's plan to let workers divert some of their payroll tax into individual investment accounts.

The forum's shift follows the decision by two securities firms — Edward Jones and Waddell & Reed — to drop out of a related lobbying group set up to promote private accounts on Capitol Hill, the Alliance for Worker Retirement Security.

Financial services companies have come under particular pressure from opponents of private accounts, especially the AFL-CIO. These critics charge that the companies stand to benefit from Bush's plan to let workers divert taxes into stocks and bonds that the companies would manage.

Sounds like they are seeing bad polls, hearing from pressure groups, and don't see that it is worth the investment or the hassle to be seen pushing private accounts.


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