Douglas Holtz-Eakin, director of the Congressional Budget Office told attendees at a economics conference here that the debate over Social Security Reform should shift the focus from the potential returns of the proposed private accounts to include the risks of investing in equities. According to Tax Analysts, at last week's National Association for Business Economics conference, Holtz-Eakin told attendees that ignoring the risks of privately invested accounts is "incomplete and misleading." "Markets recognize that the higher return on equities is compensation for the higher risk incurred," he said. Supporters of President Bush's call to reform the 70-year-old program to a system or personal or private accounts said that personal equities accounts would be able to restore benefit levels that the current Social Security system will be unable to pay in future years. The president's proposal faces a furious battle from Democrats and highly influential organizations such as AARP. In addition to President Bush's private accounts proposal, there are seven pieces of Social Security reform currently floating around Capitol Hill.

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