I firmly believe that we need to keep our word to retirees and those who are preparing to retire. Social Security benefits must be there for individuals who have worked their whole lives, paid into the program and expect those hard-earned benefits to be there when they retire. You can be assured that I will oppose any reform proposal that cuts benefits, raises taxes or increases the retirement age of America's workers.
That being said, I do believe we must find a fair way to ensure that benefits will be there for future generations who are currently paying into the system. It is true that the Social Security program has very serious long-run problems, the most pertinent of which is that beginning in 2016 the program's benefit obligation will exceed its annual tax revenue. We need to consider options that allow young workers the ability to save and invest on their own so that they can take advantage of higher rates of return than the traditional program offers. However, in doing so, I promise to stand by my principles of ensuring that benefits are not cut, taxes are not raised and that the retirement age remains the same.
At the same time, we need to safeguard pension plans and provide options for workers to preserve and enhance their retirement security. The recent revelations of executives cashing-in on the backs of their investors has proven that rank-and-file workers must be granted the same options as senior corporate executives when it comes to managing their 401(K) plans. Which is why I voted for the "Pension Reform Security Act of 2002," and why I will continue to work hard to protect your retirement funds.