Thursday, January 20, 2005

Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) Opposes Efforts to Privatize Social Security.

Recently I wrote the senior senator of New Jersey, Frank Lautenberg to find out his position on Social Security. I was very pleased with his response, which I will share with you. I want all like minded people to also contact their senators, congresspersons and other elected officials and find out where they stand on this very important issue. Here is an excerpt from Senator Lautenberg's e-mail. Dear Claude: Thank you for contacting me with your thoughts about President Bush's proposals to privatize Social Security. Please be assured that I will oppose any attempts to gamble with Social Security money in risky investments. Social Security has worked extremely well for nearly 70 years to reduce poverty among senior citizens. Without Social Security, half of all seniors would be living in poverty, while today only ten percent are. To risk this safety net on the vagaries of the stock market would be to jeopardize the very essence of the program – providing retirement security in good times and bad. Instead of guaranteed benefits based on an individual's work history and, in part, on need, benefits would vary greatly depending on an individual's investment skills and luck. Economic risks would be borne by individuals rather than shared across society. While Social Security faces some challenges that should be addressed, the doomsday rhetoric we hear from some quarters is overblown. The current system, without any changes, is projected to be able to cover Social Security benefits for next forty years at the least. I support changes to the program to keep it running for our children and grandchildren, but we must not destroy Social Security under the guise of “saving” it. Instead of promoting policies which give tax breaks to the wealthy, I support dedicating funds to strengthen and protect Social Security and Medicare; I did so when we enjoyed a surplus, and I still consider it a top priority. I will continue to work toward this goal. Thank you for your comments. -Senator Frank Lautenberg

1 comment:

Patricia Young said...

My hats off to Senator Lautenberg for his stance on Social Security. I too think it is a shame to gamble with a system that has provided secure income to millions of Americans since the New Deal. Two out of three elderly Americans rely on Social Security for at least half of their income. We can not afford to gamble on the ecomnomic well being of our seniors, disabled workers and children. It is estimated that it would take about $2 trillion in transition costs to shift from the current system to a privatized system. The Bush administration is willing to take on more federal debt to cover this change over. I think it is unconscionable at a time when the federal government is running record deficits. It looks like business groups, financial institutions and conservative think tanks are lining up behind the president, while labor unions, civil rights groups and organizations representing women and the disabled are joining liberal think tanks in opposing his plan. I think this speaks VOLUMES.