Auditor General David M. Walker said that, while Social Security is staring at a long-term financing problem, the 70-year-old program does not face an "immediate crisis." In testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee, Walker told lawmakers that it would be "prudent" to address the Social Security problem "sooner rather than later." Walker also took President George W. Bush to task for his aggressive selling of his privatization plan, where younger workers would be able to divert a portion of their payroll taxes into private investment accounts. Walker testified that private accounts by themselves would "exacerbate the solvency problem" that Social Security faces, and suggested that Congress first focus on improving the program's financing. The private accounts plan faces stiff opposition from Democrats and even some Republicans. Rep. Charles B. Rangel, D-N.Y., ranking Democrat on the Ways and Means Committee, was quoted as telling Walker that, "Private accounts will not be on the table if you are looking for bipartisanship.''

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