WASHINGTON – Treasury Secretary John Snow (search) acknowledged Wednesday that the Bush administration has not yet succeeded in selling its plan for Social Security (search) to the American people, and said backers would continue to travel the country educating people about the program's problems.
President Bush has traveled to eight states to conduct campaign-style Social Security events, stressing that the system faces long-term financial straits. Supporters in Congress, armed with GOP-prepared materials, are holding meetings with constituents all over the country this week to try and build support. Wavering members of Congress are holding similar meetings to gauge public opinion.
Snow is traveling this week to Florida to campaign for the Bush plan.
He said Wednesday that he understands that Congress has been leery about creating personal accounts as part of Social Security, as Bush has proposed.
"We still have some work to do," Snow said.
He predicted that opinions will change as people learn more.
"We're at the early stages of this education process and engagement process," Snow told reporters. "We're gonna hit this hard. We're gonna get the facts out. We're gonna ... engage with the American people on the fundamentals of Social Security."
Snow said he and other administration officials would emphasize Social Security's long-term financial problems and why young people should have the ability to divert some of their payroll taxes (search) into personal accounts (search), which could be invested in the stock market and build over time.
For his part, Snow plans events at the Chamber of Commerce in Tampa on Thursday and the Chamber of Commerce in Jacksonville, Fla., on