Republicans seek Social Security statement changes

Why not use the federal government to do itself in?

The Social Security Administration has begun to send annual statements to all Americans over 25, just before their birthdays, to report on the payroll taxes they've paid and the retirement benefits they can expect. The Heritage Foundation, however, with some allies in Congress, wants to go one better.

The think tank's idea is to make the agency enclose some subversive stuff, including an admission that the money set aside for Social Security is a claim on the Treasury rather than assets in hand. Heritage also wants included a short history of the declining rates of return on what Americans pay into the massive, government-run retirement fund. "Truth-in-packaging," says David John, a senior policy analyst at Heritage.

Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and Rep. John E. Sununu of New Hampshire, both Republicans, have been drafting legislation to that effect, which they plan to introduce as soon as Congress returns to work.

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