Congress has a duty to preserve the Social Security program for workers and retirees who have played by the rules and paid into Social Security throughout their careers. Congress must also work to make the program sustainable throughout the future for future generations.
Contrary to popular belief, Social Security taxes from a given worker are not saved by the government for that particular worker's retirement. Individuals currently paying into Social Security are paying the benefits of current retirees; similarly, today's retirees paid for the retirement benefits of earlier generations. Nearly 50 years ago, there were about 15 workers supporting every individual Social Security beneficiary. Today, however, that number is just over three workers for every one retiree.
In the 2008 Annual Report to Congress, the Social Security Trustees announced that the projected point at which tax revenues will fall below program costs will come in 2017. Further, the trustees expect that the Social Security trust funds will be exhausted in 2041. And while the trust funds are currently experiencing surpluses, nothing prevents the government from spending those surpluses on unrelated government programs. Congressman Scalise believes that Congress has a responsibility to protect these trust funds from bloated government spending.
Congressman Scalise has introduced legislation that will dedicate a portion of additional government revenues to the Social Security trust funds and will prohibit Washington lawmakers and bureaucrats from raiding this additional funding stream. Congressman Scalise has also co-sponsored legislation, the Social Security Fairness Act (H.R. 82), that will repeal the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and Government Pension Offset (GPO). These two provisions unfairly penalize public servants who have contributed to Social Security through private sector jobs by deducting a portion of Social Security benefits upon retirement.
Scalise is committed to protecting and strengthening Social Security and ensuring that the program will fulfill its promises to America's seniors while improving the long-term stability of Social Security.