Social Security and Corporate America

SOCIAL SECURITY AND CORPORATE AMERICA….Although the Bush administration is pressuring industry trade groups to support its Social Security plan, it’s having a harder time with corporate America itself:

While the business associations convey support to the White House ? and funnel money to the Social Security campaign ? individual companies that make up the trade groups are for the most part declining to take a public position.

A Los Angeles Times telephone survey this month of the 20 largest U.S. companies found only two willing to publicly support the president’s proposal on Social Security.

….When Treasury Secretary John W. Snow visited a prominent New York investment house recently to talk up Social Security, a top executive asked why the White House was putting Social Security, which does not face a crisis for years, ahead of more immediate worries such as the weak dollar and the swollen federal deficit.

Snow’s only response, according to one person who was in the room, was to acknowledge the import of those issues but reiterate that Social Security was the president’s priority.

Corporate CEOs apparently think healthcare costs and the deficit are more critical issues than Social Security. What’s more, it turns out that investment banks don’t really care much about the potential trading profits from private accounts. At the same time, none of these corporations want to be viewed as taking sides on a political issue, especially one this unpopular, and they’re also feeling pressure from union pension funds.

All in all, George Bush just isn’t feeling a lot of love when it comes to Social Security. Poor guy.

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