As the largest single federal program and a major source of income for America's seniors, Social Security touches the lives of every single American at some point in life. We must remain committed to standing by the promises that have been made, but this cannot be done if we continue to do nothing to reform America's entitlement programs. The politician's ability to use these programs as a political weapon against those brave enough to reform the programs must be abolished. We must ensure that these programs benefit future generations as they have for past generations.
In 2010, we learned that the Social Security Trust Fund is paying out more in benefits than it is taking in and politicians have already spent the $2.5 trillion surplus needed to prepare for the wave of baby boomers that just began retiring. Social Security was originally planned as insurance to protect America's senior citizens from poverty by paying benefits to those who contribute to the program their entire working career. However, it is now a pay-as-you-go program that is projected to be broke in 20 years. Another entitlement program, Medicare, represents a $30 trillion dollar unfunded liability for future generations to pick up the tab.
By refusing to do the hard work to reform such programs, politicians in Washington are ensuring that they cease to exist in the future. It is time that these vital programs are placed on solid financial footing through very simple and common sense reforms that include:
As a member of Congress, I will work for
* A predictable benefit that provides economic security for those currently receiving benefits as well as the generations to come
* Protect benefits for seniors close to and already receiving benefits
* Means testing to ensure benefits are paid to those who truly need it
* A more reasonable retirement age
* Incentives for workers who are able and willing to work longer, and
* An improved savings plan for younger workers to supplement Social Security