Holt Hosts Town Hall on Social Security

Date: Feb. 12, 2005
Location: North Brunswick , NJ

Holt Seeks Constituents' Input on President's Privatization Plan
February 12, 2005

(North Brunswick , NJ). - Rep. Rush Holt (NJ-12) today held a town meeting with district residents to discuss the future of Social Security and options for keeping the system solvent for future generations.

"The people of New Jersey have an enormous stake in the outcome of the debate over Social Security," said Holt. "Current and future retirees, including today's young people, need to make their voices heard on the subject. Social Security has for years provided retirees with a guaranteed monthly benefit, which translates into financial independence and security. This town hall meeting was an opportunity to talk about the pros and cons of privatizing that system."
In New Jersey's 12th Congressional District alone, 98,763 residents receive Social Security benefits, including 68,559 retirees, 8,567 disabled workers, 8,931 widow(er)s, and 4,337 wives and husbands, and 8,369 children, according to the Social Security Administration.

"I have grave concerns over privatizing Social Security," said Holt. "The President's plan would cut Social Security's monthly benefit, eliminate the guarantee, and add trillions to the national debt. It's a radical, misguided approach to a manageable problem."

According to the non-partisan Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, the President's proposal to divert a portion of Social Security payroll tax revenue to private accounts "would add $4.9 trillion to the debt over its first 20 years (14 percent of GDP in 2028)." Moreover, as Henry J. Aaron of the Brookings Institution has noted, "post-retirement inflation erodes private pensions. Social Security, in welcome contrast, fully protects pensioners against inflation. That is another reason why traditional Social Security must be sustained."

Holt made clear that fixing Social Security in a fiscally responsible way is essential to the future of the program.

"What we need is responsible leadership, not radical solutions," said Holt. "In 1983, Congress modified Social Security in a bipartisan way, and made it financially sound for sixty years-until at least 2042. We can do the same again. We need to take Social Security in for a tune up, not haul it to the junk yard."