From Dec. 15-16, 2004, President Bush hosted a White House
economic conference to discuss issues such as tax and regulatory
burdens, effects of lawsuit abuse, high costs of health care and
the importance of preparing U.S. workers for the jobs of the 21st
century. On Feb. 2, 2005, he laid out his priorities in his State
of the Union address.
Bush has set an ambitious agenda of proposals that will dominate
dialogue on Capitol Hill for months. His plan to modify Social
Security to allow some workers to put a percentage of payroll taxes
into private investment accounts is expected to generate the most
expensive lobbying battle in history. Corporate trade associations,
the financial services and securities industries, Fortune 500
companies and conservative groups favor the president's plan.
Opposition is led by the American Association of Retired Persons
(AARP) and AFL-CIO.
Although NRCA has taken no position, Social Security certainly
faces financial problems because sometime during the next decade an
aging U.S. population will be taking more benefits out of the
system than it is paying in taxes to fund it. The Social Security
debate will be omnipresent even as Congress considers three more
Bush priorities that NRCA supports: legal reform to stop lawsuit
abuse, asbestos litigation reform and energy legislation.
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