The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 20, 1998 · Page 8
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 8

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Wednesday, May 20, 1998
Page 8
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A8 WEDNEJ ID AY, MAY 2O, 1998 WASHINGTON THE SALINA JOURNAL SECURITY Plan to invest Social Security offered Americans could invest part of savings in stocks on bonds under proposal By the Associated Press WASHINGTON — Americans could save more money tax-free for retirement and invest part of their Social Security contributions in the stock market under a plan proposed Tuesday by a group of lawmakers, business leaders aha 1 scholars. • "The goal of this is to have people more involved in their own sav- irigs," said Sen. John Breaux, D-La., a leader of the panel, which was V TOBACCO Tobacco debate is feisty Senate defeats attempt to limit attorneys' fees for tobacco lawsuits By The Associated Press WASHINGTON — From lawyer fees to tobacco farmers to the cost of a pack of cigarettes, the Senate scuffled noisily Tuesday over legislation to reduce teen smoking and regulate the industry that makes and markets cigarettes. "There are going to be a lot of explosions" before the final roll is called, predicted Sen. John McCain, the Arizona Republican who hopes to shepherd the measure to passage. . On the Senate floor, much of the day was devoted to debating a Republican proposal to cap fees for attorneys involved in lawsuits against the tobacco industry. ', "They negotiate settlements in the millions and billions of dollars, and they take fees In the millions and billions of dollars," said Sen. Lauch Faircloth of North Carolina, one of several Republicans behind the proposal to limit fees to $250 an hour. "They also stand to be.the biggest winners if the tobacco settlement is enacted." . "This fight is not about money. It is about whether this door to American justice is to be closed," responded Sen. Bob Torricelli, D-N.J. Torricelli said lawyers had taken financial risks in taking on a well-heeled industry on behalf of smokers. Trial lawyers customarily receive a percentage of a judgment, but only when their side prevails. In the end, the proposal was killed, 58-39. \ Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., has angered two tobacco-state Democrats with early maneuverings — prompting the first of the multiple explosions that McCain predicted. Lott used his prerogative on Monday night to advance an amendment relating to tobacco farmers that was vehemently opposed by Democratic Sens. Wendell' Ford of Kentucky and Ernest Rollings of South Carolina. Under thd : Senate's arcane rules, because o^'Lett's move, supporters of the provision will need only, a majority to prevail in a showdown, rather than the 60 votes that would otherwise be required. Y COMPUTERS Hackers can shut down 'Net By Scripps Howard News Service WASHINGTON — A band of se^en hackers from Boston told a Senate Committee Tuesday that ' could bring down the founda- > of the Internet in 30 minutes. (Stifying under their Internet >es — Mudge, Brian Oblivion, :e Rogue, Kingpin, Weld Pond, Tan and Stefan Von Neu|n — the hackers said that by interfering with the links between long-distance phone carriers such as AT&T and MCI they could disrupt Internet service for a couple of - toys. '. '• le hackers, known collectively as aOpht, opened a series of hearing i by Senate Governmental Af- fai i i Committee Chairman Fred Thompson, R-Tenn., on the security of government and commercial computer and telecommunication networks. Besides the LOpht hackers, Thompson released a pair of reports by the congressional General Accounting Office that said the State Department and the Federal Aviation Administration's air- control system are highly vulnerable to hacking. convened by the private Center for Strategic and International Studies. The detailed plan recommends steps to make up for a cash shortfall expected when 77 million baby boomers become eligible for Social Security benefits, including a gradual increase in the retirement age to 70. Saying the proposal also would mean more individual risk in planning for old age, a liberal academic group denounced the plan as "rigged" by Wall Street and big business against working-class Americans. "It discriminates against people who don't have lives that are comfortable enough so that they can even get to age 70 and retire," said Theresa Caldwell, a spokeswoman for the Institute for Public Accuracy. "I'm convinced our plan ... provides a solid middle ground where I see the congressional debate going," Breaux said. Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H, and Reps. Jim Kolbe R-Ariz., and Charles Stenholm, D-Texas, also helped lead the project. Among the other 20 participants were the chairman of Wall Street investment firm Paine Webber Group Inc., Donald B. Marron; IBM vice president Josephine Tsao; and Tupperware Corp. chief executive 1 Warren Batts. The group's plan would shift into individually controlled personal accounts two percentage points of the 12.4 percent tax on wages that is split between workers and their employers. For example, a $50,000- a-year worker now pays $3,100 Social Security tax each year; that is matched by the employer. Under the proposal $1,000 of that could be invested outside Social Security. Workers could choose whether to put that money into more- or less-risky investment plans, such as corporate stocks or U.S. Treasury bonds. On top of the required 2 percent payroll contribution, they could choose to add up to another $2,000, tax-exempt, to their accounts each year. Thinking flowers? Artful Parties & Events *-f ~ " . "Thn TTn^nrnmAn Flrvriot" "The Uncommon Florist 921 Shalimar Dr. Cbehind the Southeate Dairy Queen) $ 2off * 20# bags or larger, cases of 14 3/4 oz. cans. One coupon per customer. 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