Issue Position: Social Security

Issue Position

* Strengthening Social Security so that it can fulfill the mission of retirement security for future generation -- a mission that is currently in jeopardy.

* Advancing commonsense reforms that will dramatically improve the rate of return for retirees and make Social Security permanently solvent. I have proposed reforms that would put an end to the raid of the Social Security Trust Fund, give millions of low-income Americans a chance to join the investor class, and restore confidence in the intergenerational compact of Social Security.

* Proposed legislation that would keep Social Security Numbers safe and secure, as a tool to combat both illegal immigration and identity theft.

Nearly 50 million Americans depend on Social Security during their retirement years, and yet Congress has been standing idly by while this vital program is going broke. I believe this is wrong. As the first baby boomers have already started to collect their Social Security retirement benefits, there will not be enough workers to pay into the system to cover what future retirees have been promised. In 2017, Social Security will begin to pay out more in benefit than it brings in through payroll taxes, and the Social Security Trust Fund will be completely exhausted by 2041. As the Ranking Member of the House Budget Committee, one of my top priorities is to preserve the Social Security safety net and make sure the program remains solvent for future generations.

To tackle this looming fiscal crisis, I have put forward a responsible plan -- "A Roadmap for America" -- to fulfill the mission of retirement security for future generations. My plan starts by ending the raid on the Social Security Trust Fund, and preserving Social Security for those in and near retirement.

I have proposed giving younger workers the voluntary option to invest over one-third of their payroll taxes into personal retirement accounts. These benefits will become the property of the individual, which can be passed onto their heirs. These voluntary retirement accounts also have built-in safeguards to minimize risk -- with a guaranteed minimum benefit, while still allowing for growth far above the chronically low rates of return in our current system. The real risk to individuals contributing to Social Security comes in the form of those clinging to the status quo. If we do not place Social Security on sound financial footing now, there will be painful adjustments in the years ahead. My proposal would make Social Security permanently solvent.

Additionally, I believe that too many Americans are vulnerable to identity theft and have proposed legislation to tackle this growing problem. I have introduced legislation that would protect workers' Social Security Numbers safe from identity theft and give employers needed tools to protect themselves from unknowingly hiring people who are in the country illegally. This bipartisan proposal -- called the New Employee Verification Act -- protects an employee's information from identity theft while creating a verification tool that is accurate, secure, and immediate.