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Republicans', Democrats' selling points on Social Security

WASHINGTON—Members of Congress from both parties will spend this week trying to sell their constituents their views of President Bush's proposed change to Social Security. Each party armed its lawmakers with key arguments. Samples follow:

The "Perfect" Republican statement, recommended by GOP strategist Frank Luntz:

"If your financial adviser earned you zero money on your investment, you would fire him. If you had a stock with no growth, you would sell it. But that is all Washington offers. This Social Security system is antiquated and ineffective. We can do better. Our nation's workers deserve better."

The Democrats' core message, from talking points given to House Democrats:

"Democrats want to strengthen Social Security without slashing benefits that Americans have earned. Private accounts make Social Security's challenge worse, force massive benefit cuts and increase the national debt. Once President Bush stops insisting on privatization, we can work together to keep the promise of Social Security."

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(c) 2005, Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.

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