President Bush (search) on Friday said the country can better afford Social Security if his proposal to cut the growth in benefits for most workers is adopted.

Bush wants Congress to enact legislation that he says would place Social Security (search) on a permanently stable financial foundation. To do so, he has spoken favorably of an approach that would leave many middle-income and higher-income retirees of the future with lower benefits than they are currently promised.

"It means that in the future all workers will get Social Security checks bigger than the ones they receive today, but that the benefits will rise at a rate we can better afford," Bush said in a speech before the National Association of Realtors.

At the same time, Bush wants to give younger workers the chance to put a portion of their payroll taxes (search) into personal accounts.

"We're in a bind and now is the time to come together and fix the problem," Bush said.