TRENTON – The Senate approved a resolution today sponsored by Senators Barbara Buono and Shirley Turner that would call upon Congress to reject any plans by the Bush Administration to harm Social Security through the use of private accounts.
“The American people have spoken loud and clear on Social Security – they want it fixed, not destroyed,” said Senator Buono. “Hopefulluy that message is making its way to the Oval Office, but we need to keep speaking out against attempts to privatize Social Security and keep fighting for real reform that will keep the program solvent for decades to come.”
Senator Buono’s proposal, SR-94, would memorialize Congress to reject the Social Security privatization recommended by President Bush’s Social Security Commission. Those recommendations include diverting payroll taxes to create private accounts and would require deep cuts in benefits and excessive federal borrowing.
“For the better part of a century, Social Security has ensured that American seniors maintain a decent quality of life during their retirement years,” said Senator Turner, D-Mercer. “Those currently in the workforce count on it as they plan for their retirement and don’t want irresponsible proposals to take that guarantee away. President Bush’s plan will bankrupt Social Security and breaks the covenant the government has maintained with the people since 1935.”
Senator Buono noted that the Bush Administration plan to privatize Social Security would require more than $2 trillion dollars in federal borrowing, accelerate the predicted shortfall and exacerbate the negative impact on the federal budget and economy.
“The Bush proposal to divert a third of social security taxes into private accounts, will greatly reduce the amount available to pay for current benefits and invest in the Social Security Trust Fund – meaning that the shortfall would come in 2018, rather than 2052. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that if we take no action at all, we will be able to pay out full benefits until at least 2052, and after that point retirees would still expect to receive 80% of promised benefits. Social Security does need to be fixed, but we have 40 years to find a better way than simply dismantling the entire system,” explained Senator Buono.
The resolution passed the Senate by a vote of 22-14. It will now be filed with the Secretary of State.