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October 2010, Week 3

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Sat, 16 Oct 2010 13:11:30 -0400
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Obama Backs Boosting Revenue For Social Security

Reuters
October 14, 29010

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20101014/pl_nm/us_obama_socialsecurity

WASHINGTON

President Barack Obama said on Thursday he favored
raising more revenue for Social Security to prolong the
solvency of the U.S. retirement fund, rather than just
cutting benefits or making people work longer.

Obama told a televised youth town hall event that he
thought the best approach was to increase the amount of
income subject to Social Security taxes above the
current cap set around $106,000, but he did not rule
anything out.

"I have said that all options are on the table. I think
we've got to look at how we preserve it for the next
generation," he said.

"I do think that the best way to do it would be to look
at the fact that right now, you only pay Social
Security taxes to about $106,000, and after that you
don't pay any Social Security tax," he said. "That
could be modified or changed in a way that would help
extend the solvency of Social Security."

His remarks lay down a marker for the president's
fiscal commission as it weighs options for Social
Security that also include extending the U.S.
retirement age, currently set at 67 for those born
after 1960, or limiting some benefits.

A report issued in August said Social Security was on
track to exhaust its reserves in 2037. Some Republicans
have proposed letting seniors invest some of their
Social Security funds in the stock market, which
Democrats say would imperil seniors' financial
security.

Obama has asked his bipartisan commission to come up
with suggestions to reduce the federal budget deficit
and put the country on a sounder long-term fiscal
footing.

Recommendations are due in December, after midterm
congressional elections on November 2 in which the
record U.S. budget deficit has emerged as a potent
concern among voters.

"My hope is that we can get a Republican-Democratic
agreement about how we strengthen Social Security, as
well as looking at some of these other major
expenditures that we have, that we've got to deal with,
to make sure that we are not just leaving you guys with
a mountain of debt," Obama said.

The event was shown live on Black Entertainment
Television (BET), Country Music Television (CMT) and
Music Television (MTV), networks that primarily are
aimed at young people.

(Reporting by Alister Bull; Editing by Vicki Allen)

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