On and Off

Pension progress, job troubles

It had taken the House two years of acrimonious debate to bring the contentious question to heel. But when legislation proposed by an unusual blue-ribbon panel to save the financially troubled Social Security system finally reached the floor last week, the vast package barreled through to bipartisan approval, 282 to 148. Passage of the bill, said Minority Leader Robert H. Michel, was "born of necessity and ripened of bipartisan deliberation."

Only two equally unpalatable solutions were possible: increase the taxes that fund the system or reduce benefits. In the end the House followed the recommendation of the National Commission...

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