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Top Senator questions personal accounts
Senate Finance head Grassley says private accounts won't solve problems.
April 26, 2005: 1:17 PM EDT
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WASHINGTON (CNN) - A leading Republican Senator is shying away from the proposal to revise the Social Security system using individual investment accounts.

Senate Finance Committee chairman Sen. Charles Grassley told callers on cable's C-Span television that the issue of private investment won't solve the problem of keeping Social Security afloat by the time his granddaughter retires more than 50 years from now.

"Personal accounts don't solve that problem," Grassley said. "You still have the insolvency of the Social Security trust fund," a problem he said needs to be resolved among "100 moving parts" over the next 50-75 years.

President Bush has been touting the concept of such investments in a series of campaign-style tours of the country, and will wrap up his 60-day blitz with a roundtable in Galveston, Texas.

Bush has acknowledged, however, that individual investment accounts do not by themselves address the solvency issue. To address solvency, Bush has said he will consider many options, including raising the retirement age, lifting the amount of payroll earnings subject to Social Security tax and adjusting the formula used to calculate benefits.

Sources in Grassley's Committee told reporters Monday that the controversial Bush plan to privatize part of the Social Security system may not make it through the panel.

The committee holds the first Congressional hearings on the issue Tuesday.

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Charles Grassley
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