Protecting Social Security
I am a firm believer in the importance of the Social Security program. I am committed to making sure that these programs are there for all Americans - both current beneficiaries and future beneficiaries. Throughout my tenure in Congress, I have opposed proposals that would jeopardize the future viability of these programs.
Unfortunately, financial and economic analysts agree that Social Security, as currently structured, is fiscally unsustainable. The program will begin paying out more in benefits than it takes in from payroll taxes by 2016, a year earlier than estimated last year. Social Security will be insolvent by 2037, according to the report, at which point enrollees would receive about three-fourths of their promised benefits through 2083. This is mainly because of the great advances in health care over the last 30 years: as more Americans are living longer lives, the number of retirees as a percentage of the overall population grows. Consequently, the number of workers paying into the system will be too small to support the retirees who have already paid into the system.
Clearly, the impetus for reform is there. Congress is currently debating ideas for Social Security reform that will put the program on a firm, stable footing for the next century. So far, however, no real solution has been offered and the topic continues to be pushed to the background as the president and the majority party in Congress focus on major pieces of their agenda like health care and cap-and-trade.
One thing I will promise is that, whatever changes are made to Social Security, current beneficiaries will not see their benefits go down. Social Security is a promise that we made to our seniors, and I will fight to make sure that promise is kept.