Dear Mrs. Maltman:
Thank you for contacting me with your concerns regarding Social Security. I appreciate hearing from you.
I share your strong support for Social Security, a program that is vitally important to millions of seniors and other beneficiaries across the country. Social Security does face long-term challenges that Congress will need to address; however, contrary to some claims, the program is far from being in crisis. According to the 2016 Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Federal Disability Insurance Trustees Report, the program will be fully solvent until 2034. In fact, the Social Security Trust Fund will be able to pay nearly 80 percent of promised benefits after that even if no further Congressional action is taken.
Many opponents of Social Security have tried to create the impression that Social Security has nothing but worthless “IOU’s” since Congress supposedly has “stolen” Social Security funds to pay for other spending. This is inaccurate. In truth, Congress has never taken any Social Security dollars and appropriated them for any other purpose. Every surplus dollar has been invested in Treasury securities backed by the full faith and credit of the United States, just like Treasury securities held by investors around the country, in China, and elsewhere the world. To claim that these are “mere IOU’s” that are subject to default, as some suggest, is to argue that the US government would treat
China better than our own seniors. That must not and almost certainly will not happen.
Keep in mind that Social Security was established as a separate, self-financed program, and – as a matter of federal law – it is not part of the Federal budget. That is as it should be, and I will continue to oppose the many in Washington who want to make deep cuts in benefits to pay for other spending or tax breaks. That would unfairly break our country’s promise to Americans who have worked hard and paid into the system in good faith. In fact, especially given the substantial decline in workers’ access to private pensions, I believe we should be looking for ways to expand rather than cut benefits.
Please be assured that protecting Social Security for current and future beneficiaries is among my highest priorities as a U.S. Senator. We must continue to do all we can to make sure that the benefits seniors have earned and on which they depend are guaranteed and strengthened, so that those who have spent a lifetime contributing to our nation can retire in dignity.
Again, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me. I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.
My best wishes to you.
United States Senator