Fighting to preserve the promise of Social Security for this and future generations is among the most important things I do in Congress.
As a CPA, I know the importance of planning today for tomorrow's financial needs.
Opposing "Privatization" Schemes
In the face of the coming retirement of the baby boom generation, some are suggesting that we abandon our 50-year promise and propose schemes to "privatize" Social Security. I oppose these schemes because I believe it would be irresponsible to replace a guarantee with a gamble, especially in today's market.
I am a cosponsor of H.R. 3207, the Save the Social Security First Reserve Fund. I have also cosponsored H.R. 857, the Social Security Preservation Act, to prohibit the federal government from borrowing from Social Security to balance our federal budget.
Allowing people to opt out of the Social Security system and play the stock market can have disastrous consequences for those who are imprudent or simply unlucky.
Additionally, any move to an "every man for himself" plan would have huge transition costs --- in order to pay for current retirees as well as create a whole new system for future retirees, we would have to radically raise taxes or drastically cut benefits. Neither option is acceptable.
Encouraging Private Savings
Social Security should be a floor, not a ceiling. I support tax deductions for IRAs, 401Ks and similar plans. This allows those who want to invest privately to do so -- without putting entire generations at risk.
Protecting Cost-of-Living Increases
I oppose attempts to let Congress tamper with Cost-of-Living Adjustments based on the Consumer Price Index. Those decisions should be left in the hands of the experts and economists at the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Those who rely on Social Security cannot afford to fall behind inflation. As a member of the Budget Committee, I fought attempts to allow Congress to tinker with the CPI and COLAs for political gain.