Social Security has been a great success for seven decades. The 2005 Trustees’ Report confirms that the program can easily continue to provide economic security to all Americans through the 21st century.
Social Security guarantees that all workers and their family members can live in dignity when they can no longer work because of old age, disability, or death. Before Social Security, most seniors faced the prospect of dire poverty in their final years. Moving in with their children was the only safety net. Today 90% of seniors are free from poverty, and most are able to live independently. Social Security also sustains millions of disabled workers and children. In fact, more children live in households supported by Social Security (5 million) than Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, or welfare (4 million).
Privatizing Social Security as President Bush has proposed will slash guaranteed benefits for everyone, remove the foundation of economic security from seniors and families who have experienced tragedy, and cost American taxpayers trillions of dollars. Rather than dismantling a successful program, we should focus our efforts on strengthening the American economy and increasing the productivity of the future workforce. Investing now in the education of our children and young adults will pay double dividends by providing opportunity for a prosperous future to younger generations and by securing Social Security’s long-term finances.
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