ShareThis Page
Bush appeals to youth |

Bush appeals to youth

The Associated Press

STATE COLLEGE — President Bush took a fresh appeal for his Social Security overhaul to people mostly below voting age, saying the nation’s young have a huge stake in whatever change comes about.

“I’ve come here today to tell you that there are some of us in Washington, D.C., who do not want to leave you saddled with a retirement system that’s going broke,” Bush said Tuesday, speaking to a convention of the Pennsylvania FFA — formerly known as the Future Farmers of America — at Pennsylvania State University.

He encouraged the students to call members of Congress to encourage them to support his plan.

Younger Americans like the Pennsylvania high school students that Bush visited potentially would be the most affected by his plan to offer private investment accounts in place of guaranteed Social Security benefits.

Bush stood on an auditorium stage with about 300 students in blue and gold FFA membership jackets sitting on risers behind him. Several hundred more students, in the same uniform of membership jacket, and black slacks or skirts, were there as well.

Bush said he wants to “make sure the system is a better deal for younger workers” and the president assured older people in the audience that they would continue to get their promised benefits.

The students would get the same benefits that seniors today get, Bush said, without getting into the impact increases in the cost of living will have over the next 50 years.

Bush rode to the campus with legendary Penn State football coach Joe Paterno and got even bigger applause when he pointed that out during his talk on Social Security. Bush also won applause when he urged Congress to permanently end the estate taxes and approve liberalized trade with Central American nations — two other measures that he said would help farmers.

Bush may have been using the students in the crowd to make his point about Social Security, but several said they didn’t follow the debate or spend any time thinking about whether the program will be around for them when they retire.

“I’ll wait until I’m older,” said 16-year-old Daniel Snook from Mifflinburg, Union County.

Polls show three-fourths of people between 18 and 29 feel that Social Security in its present form is going to run out of money at some point. Most adults under 50 were likely to feel this way, according to an AP-Ipsos poll in early May.

Those older than 50 had doubts about the financial future of the system, but their level of concern was lower than that of younger adults.

Bush has held Social Security events in 26 states, and yesterday marked his second stop in Pennsylvania on the issue.

Before visiting Penn State, Bush spoke at a fund-raiser for Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Penn Hills, at a supporter’s home in Bryn Mawr, an upscale Philadelphia suburb.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.