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Castor: McCain, not Social Security, is real 'disgrace'

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor of Tampa, co-chairwoman of Democrat Barack Obama's campaign in Florida, accused Republican John McCain of tripping on the so-called "third rail" of American politics: Social Security.

At a town hall meeting in Denver yesterday, McCain said: "Americans have got to understand that we are paying present-day retirees with the taxes paid by young workers in America today. And that's a disgrace. It's an absolute disgrace, and it's got to be fixed."

McCain has said he might support allowing younger workers to put some of their Social Security taxes into private accounts to shore up the fund. President Bush's plan for private accounts peetered out in 2005.

"I'm running out of fingers and toes to see how many times John McCain is aligning himself with the policies of George W. Bush,'' Castor told reporters in a call arranged by the Obama campaign. "This is the most harmful policy proposal for Social Security and our seniors. It rivals the damage they have done to the Medicare system in trying to privatize it."