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Nation IN BRIEF : WASHINGTON, D.C.

Overhaul Seen for Social Security

September 11, 1997|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

If he gets the job, President Clinton's choice to head Social Security said he expects to preside over a major overhaul of the nation's retirement program. Kenneth S. Apfel, now a White House budget expert, said the president has a "deep desire" to find a solution to the financial crunch Social Security will face when baby boomers retire. "We are starting a major debate in this country," said Apfel at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee. Apfel said Clinton has not yet worked out how he would fix Social Security, but he said White House aides are meeting with key members of Congress about getting started. Sen. Phil Gramm (R-Texas) pressed Apfel to open the process even wider, making Social Security data about American retirement habits available to academics, think tanks and the general public "so that we can get the best minds working on this."

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