Issues 2000: TIME Issues Briefing: Social Security

Does the nation's oldest, most successful social program need a complete overhaul--or just an infusion of money?

How to tell the difference between Al ("We're for the people") Gore and George W. ("I trust the people") Bush? Take a look at what each candidate says at this week's debate about how to "save" Social Security. You have probably heard that the popular program will go bankrupt soon, but that's not exactly true. The real problem is that as the baby boomers retire and then live longer than previous cohorts, aid to the elderly will take up more of the budget, leaving little room for other priorities like health care or education. The solution we choose will have an...

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