1) What is the meaning of " pitch" here? I looked up my dictionary and found several entries on this but not sure which one is fit for here.

2) What is " private account" in U.S? Will anyone tell me this in nutshell?

3) What will benefit U.S people by Bush's proposal as following?
And how many percent of payroll tax will be collect in U.S?
Where do younger workers contribute their payroll tax now?

proposal to allow younger workers to divert part of their payroll tax contributions to government-managed stock and bond accounts

Er, I know that my questions are beyond the subject of this column but still hope someone can give me a hand because I can't understand this article exactly due to lacking related background.

Part of the context to my questions

SHREVEPORT, La. (Reuters) - President Bush on Friday resisted political pressure to abandon the controversial private accounts that are a key element of his drive to overhaul Social Security but broadened his pitch by stressing a long-term fix for the retirement program.

Despite outright opposition from Democrats, misgivings by some fellow Republicans and public unease, Bush pushed ahead with his proposal to allow younger workers to divert part of their payroll tax contributions to government-managed stock and bond accounts
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1. I think I've found what you need: pitch = "an often high-pressure sales presentation"/"an advertisement"

As far as I know, a private account is a bank account in a citizen's name...

I'm afraid I'm not much help... sorry!
Anyway, thank you very much. It is great to know you here. You have been helping me a lot.
MerciEmotion: smile
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Very kind of you, Flora!
Flora - Pres. Bush "broadened his pitch" by trying to appeal to a broader ( wider) audience. As Pieanne explained, "pitch" here has the sense of "advertisement," and the Pres. is trying to get more people to support his proposal.
As to the actual content of his proposed Social Security policy, I can't help you there - that's not a language I speak!
IC. Thank you, Khoff.
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Hello Flora,

This article seems to be a reference to George W's controversial plan for Social Security, which I'll try to explain although I'm not all that familar with it.

Basically, "Social Security" is a retirement fund set up by the goverment for every citizen. Every American taxpayer is required to pay a certain percentage of his/her paychecks to social security, and in return they will receive monthly Social Security checks from the goverment upon retiring. George W is now proposing that instead of paying all their Social Security money to the goverment, citizens be allowed to invest part of it in stock. This would mean that many people could make more money for themselves than social security allows, but it would also be a great risk as many investments fail.

I'm not certain what percentage of one's pay is required to go towards Social Security, but I would say that it is not generally considered to be a tax. Usually "private account" refers to any money account that is owned privately, be it a bank account, bond account, et cetera. In this context I believe its referring to those "government-managed stock and bond accounts."
Here's the whole package: [url="http://www.ssa.gov/SSA_Home.html "]U.S. SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM[/url]
Hi Young Californian,
Your post has almost helped me out and someone recommended me to read another related news about the reform of U.S social security with which Pres. Bush is pushing ahead.
I think I can basically understand what meaning of that news was now.
Thanks a bunch.

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