WEEKLY WASHINGTON UPDATE
July 8, 2005
Recently, I co-sponsored a plan to save Social Security as we know it. It is a plan that will protect the Social Security Trust Fund. It will safeguard benefits, and it will ensure that the money the government collects is only used for Social Security, not on other programs.
Social Security has worked well for many years, but it was designed for 1935, not 2005. Unfortunately, due to changing demographics, Social Security as we know it will not be there for future generations. Fewer workers, more retirees, longer life spans, and rampant government spending are bankrupting the Social Security system. Without reforms, today's younger workers will face either a 30% benefit cut or a 43% tax increase by the time they retire.
Under the Growing Real Ownership for Workers (GROW) plan, all reaming surpluses would be immediately dedicated to Social Security. Your money would be placed in personal retirement accounts in your name and invested in government guaranteed Treasury securities - backed by the full faith and credit of the federal government. These accounts would provide real assets, that workers own, and the government cannot take away.
The program would be voluntary. GROW accounts would be created for workers under the age of 55, but no one would be required to participate. And there would be absolutely no change for current or near retirees. Americans over 55 would be able to rely on the same program and benefits they have been promised. Upon retirement, GROW accounts would be used to help pay each worker's Social Security benefit. Best of all, these accounts would be inheritable, which would allow Americans to build a nest egg and pass their retirement savings on to their spouse or children after they are gone.
By protecting the remaining Social Security surplus from Washington bureaucrats, Republicans and Democrats have the opportunity to save Social Security as we know it - for this generation and the next.