Mr. HIMES. Mr. Speaker, as we approach the 75th anniversary of the Social Security program, two things are very clear. First, the program which keeps fully half of our seniors from living in poverty must be preserved and sustained for the long run. Second, preservation of Social Security must not, cannot mean increasing the risk that we ask our seniors to take.
Already, just a year or two after financial disaster obliterated $17 trillion of American household wealth, we hear the proposals of privatization, of turning Social Security money over to the vagaries of the market. Mr. Speaker, could you imagine if that monthly Social Security check that 50 million Americans get was hammered the way retirement accounts have been hammered?
Every American who can should have private accounts that they fund with their savings. They shouldn't just rely on Social Security. But when things go wrong, they need to be able to rely on that Social Security with no risk that it disappears.