Keep Social Security Safe
Sponsor: Ed Fulmer, Democracy for America
Social Security is an efficiently run, financially solvent family insurance program which has lifted millions of citizens out of poverty, and continues as a safety net for all Americans. It has been a tremendous success, and best of all, we already own it, and are determined to keep it intact.
Social Security Facts
- the Social Security trust fund pays 100% of promised benefits, and is running a huge surplus (while the US General Fund is able to raise only 58% of every dollar it spends, and must borrow the rest)
- the Social Security system is extremely efficient. Administrative costs total around 1% of the benefits provided, with virtually no waste or fraud
- Social Security provides important protection for workers and their families in the event of death or disability
- Young people are important beneficiaries of Social Security, including the 5 million orphaned and dependent children who receive its support, and all whose parents can live independently thanks to its benefits
- Social Security is the largest federal expenditure in most US counties, funneling millions of dollars per month into the local economy
- Social Security is solvent through 2052 and probably far beyond, due to pessimistic projections (1.8% annual growth) for the nation’s economy which are built into the system
- Creating private accounts would make Social Securitys financing situation worse, not better
- What you get when you retire will depend on whether the market is up or down
- Paying for new private accounts while continuing to pay benefits to current Social Security recipients would require some combination of federal borrowing, tax increases, and benefit cuts totaling 2-3 trillion dollars
- A recent World Bank report reported that in Chile and in most other Latin American countries that have experimented with account privatization, more than half of all workers [are excluded] from even a semblance of a safety net during their old age.
What we are asking
Above are a number of facts about our Social Security system. It’s important that our representatives be reminded of them, and told that we are opposed to privatization schemes proposed by the Bush administration.
The Social Security system is ingeniously constructed and will remain solvent for the foreseeable future. To assure its continued good health, Congress should take the following steps:
- Remove the Social Security Trust Fund from the Unified Budget (instead of using that money for government operations)
- Assure citizens that Trust Fund treasury bonds are backed by the full faith and credit of the federal government, and will be redeemed
- Raise the Social Security cap for taxable wages (currently $90,000) to a level that complies with federal law
- Reimburse the Social Security legacy debt (which could be done by keeping the inheritance tax for estates valued over $3 million)
People to be contacted
It’s good to communicate with our representatives by email, better by phone, and best of all by letter (the text of which can be cut and pasted for use in all three). Please contact each of the following:
- Senator Jeff Bingaman
- 703 Hart Senate Office Building
- Washington, D.C. 20510
- (202) 224-5521
- Senator Pete Domenici
- 328 Hart Senate Office Building
- Washington, D.C. 20510
- (202) 224-6621
- Contact Senator Domenici
- Note: This input form is a better way to communicate with Senator Domenici than using email.
- Representative Steve Pearce
- 1607 Longworth House Building
- Washington, D.C. 20515
- (202) 225-2365
This action was initiated by Ed Fulmer, longtime Social Security Administration employee and member of the local Democracy for America chapter. If you have questions, please contact Ed at 523-5624 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
References for the above, and other excellent information about Social Security are available from Mr. Fulmer, and also at www.socsec.org, especially in the sections 10 Myths about Social Security, and 12 Reasons Why Privatizing Social Security Is a Bad Idea.