I will never vote to privatize Social Security. The system is in need of significant reform but it is not in crisis. The Bush administration's attempts to privatize this most vital and successful of social programs are misplaced and threaten the retirement security of millions of Americans. We know that Bush's proposals will do nothing to remedy the long-term solvency problem and will only reduce benefits for recipients when they reach retirement age. It has been demonstrated that most of the long-term solvency problem could be remedied by simply raising the cap on earnings subject to the FICA tax from $90,000 to $150,000. In the short term, we need to turn our attention to the more immediate problem for current and future retirees, the solvency of Medicare. That is where our energies need to be directed in a bipartisan, constructive manner.
We must also guarantee the pensions of workers who have defined benefit retirement plans with private companies. The alarming rise in defaults on such plans in recent years must be halted and workers must be protected from the mismanagement of large corporations. We must make it easier for workers to transfer plans from job to job and when 401k plans are offered, employees must be given choices as to where they will invest their savings.