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Public Statements

Issue Position: Social Security

Issue Position

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The Social Security program was established by the Social Security Act of 1935 and is administered by the Social Security Administration. The program has two components: Old-Age and Survivors Insurance ( OASI), which provides benefits to retired workers and their families and to the survivors of deceased workers; and, Disability Insurance ( DI) which provides benefits to disabled workers and their families. At the end of December 2002, there were 46.4 million Social Security recipients.

Under the latest forecast, the Social Security trust funds continue to face long-range financing problems. On a combined basis, the Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) trust funds are projected to be depleted in 2042. At that point, annual tax revenue would cover only 73% of program costs.

Congress must work in a bipartisan manner to find solutions that ensure the long-term solvency of Social Security. Social Security is one of the most important and successful programs ever created by the federal government so I oppose jeopardizing it by reducing benefits or risky privatization schemes. I strongly support sensible improvements like the Senior Citizens' Freedom to Work Act of 2000, which removed penalties in the Social Security rules for seniors who want to work past age 65.

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