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Social Security

Given the large number of baby boomers that will be retiring in the near future, Social Security benefits are projected to exceed receipts under current law beginning in 2018. At that point, Social Security will need to start using the trust funds to pay benefits, and by 2042, Social Security will not be able guarantee all of its benefits payments.

Therefore, in order for Social Security to be available to younger members of the workforce as well as future workers, there needs to be an overall reform to the Social Security system. During the 109th Congress, my colleagues in the House of Representatives and I will be reviewing a number of proposals to improve and protect the Social Security system. Let me assure you, however, that I will not support any reform plan that adversely affects the benefits for current retirees or near-retirees.

One proposal to reform Social Security is currently being drafted by President Bush and his administration. Under his proposal, younger workers will be allowed to open personal investment accounts as an option to save payroll taxes. These personal accounts would be voluntary, and those who do not wish to open such accounts would be able to continue to draw benefits from Social Security as they do under the current system. Contrary to reports by partisan politicians and self-interested advocacy groups, there are no plans to privatize the Social Security system, nor would such a plan pass the Republican-controlled Congress.

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House Ways and Means Committee

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