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Issue Position: Social Security

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Issue Position: Social Security

Social Security has been a remarkable success since its establishment more than 70 years ago. As a member of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, I understand that nearly 50 percent of today's seniors would be living in poverty were it not for Social Security. We have a sacred obligation to ensure that retirees continue to receive the benefits that they were promised, while also guaranteeing that the program will remain sustainable for future generations.

The Future of Social Security — President Bush has indicated that he wants to privatize Social Security. Let me say clearly, I oppose what I've seen of the president's plan because it would increase our national debt and result in benefit cuts for our seniors. We can do better than this and I will make every effort to minimize the negative impacts of any proposed legislation.

It is important to recognize that it will be several decades before Social Security experiences a shortfall. Even then, the system will have sufficient resources to pay a majority of the benefits that are owed well into the second half of this century.

Having said that, I believe the President should appoint a new bipartisan commission to study the future of Social Security. Our nation currently faces mounting budget deficits and rising government debt. A bipartisan commission would bring open and honest debate to this issue and help build consensus around sensible solutions that will secure Social Security's solvency and provide new investment opportunities for future generations.

As the Senate continues to address the issue of Social Security reform, I will be sure to keep the views of my constituents in mind. I am open to the idea of establishing personal retirement accounts, but not if they result in an increase to our national debt or a reduction of benefits for seniors.

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