The Social Security Choice

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The AP’s Glen Johnson looks at McCain’s and Obama’s plans for Social Security in the wake of the market turmoil:

The Republican presidential nominee says all options must be considered to stave off insolvency for the government insurance and retirement program, and top McCain advisers say that includes so-called personal retirement accounts like those President Bush pushed in 2005 but abandoned in the face of Democratic opposition. The aides tried to soothe voters concerned about the bankruptcies, takeovers and bailouts on Wall Street by declaring McCain favored only the option of such accounts, just for younger workers, and most likely in a conservative investment vehicle such as bonds. . . .

Democrat Barack Obama opposes the accounts and has warned they could be a precursor to eliminating the government entitlement program. . . . Obama, a senator from Illinois, has suggested shoring up the program by imposing the 6.2 percent Social Security tax on earnings above $250,000; currently, only the first $102,000 in income is subject to the tax. Income in the “doughnut hole” between those figures would not be taxed.