The Social Security Trust Fund has provided all working Americans financial support in their old age since President Franklin D. Roosevelt made it the center of his New Deal over 70 years ago. Unlike any private investments, Social Security provides inflation-proof income for life, furnishing millions of older Americans a crucial safety net. I believe we must strengthen Social Security over the long term, but sound analysis shows that we have time to get it right.
While the Administration appears to have made a tactical retreat from its disastrous attempt to take apart Social Security and replace it with risky private accounts, the battle is not over. The Administration's failed plan would have required enormous cuts in benefits and, as the White House was forced to admit, did nothing to improve the solvency of the system. The more Americans learned about the Administration's plan, the less they liked it. The Administration's plan to privatize Social Security was particularly bad for women, since they are more likely than men to depend on Social Security for their financial well-being. In an op-ed for Knight Ridder Newspapers (see Documents) I explained how the Administration's scheme hit women especially hard.