See How They Run: Social Security Could Be A Big Election Issue

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Three years after the collapse of President Bush's plan for private Social Security accounts, Republican presidential contenders are eager to try again.

Not so the Democrats, who gravitate toward increasing payroll taxes on upper-income earners to fix the program's finances.

With the notable exception of former Senator Fred Thompson, a Tennessee Republican, presidential hopefuls in both parties shy away from suggestions that might offend their own primary voters. As a result, bipartisan commissions to resolve the program's long-term financial problems are in. And longer waits for retirement are most definitely out.

Thompson's proposal, by contrast, includes lower-than-promised benefits for future retirees, as well as new private accounts to make Social Security solvent for 75 years.

Thompson recently challenged his rivals to come up with a better idea if they have one.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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