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What the Presidential
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Social Security Reform

Legislative Proposals

There are now several Social Security reform proposals in the House and Senate. Check out our list for the latest status for each bill.

Welcome to the Social Security Reform Center — the one-stop source for news, analysis, and research on the Social Security reform debate.

Many concerned Americans and responsible lawmakers are starting to discuss openly the need for significant reforms in the Social Security retirement program. Their discussions reflect the rising level of concern across the country, especially among younger workers, that Social Security will not be able to provide them with promised benefits when they retire.

This public concern is well grounded; studies and official reports confirm that Social Security cannot be sustained in its current form and, even if its revenue and expenditures were in long-term balance, it is providing poorer and poorer retirement income security for the money contributed by today's workers.

Nevertheless, it is all too easy to grandstand on the issue of Social Security, obscuring facts and distorting the potential effects of suggested reforms. Therefore, as Social Security reform options are considered over the next few months, here are some key facts to remember:

  • This debate should be about each American's personal retirement security. More specifically, Social Security should enable workers to share in the American Dream by making sure that everyone, no matter their income level, can participate fully in economic growth and build a retirement nest egg.

  • As a retirement income program, Social Security is not only an increasingly poor deal for workers, but many workers, especially African-American males, will actually receive less in retirement income benefits than they have paid in taxes for those benefits.

  • The Social Security system also is bankrupt. It cannot pay promised benefits to tomorrow's retirees. But proposals to "save" Social Security by reducing benefits (including proposals to raise the retirement age) or by raising payroll taxes will further reduce Social Security's already low rate of return. The twin crises of low rate of return and bankruptcy cannot both be solved within the context of the current system.

  • Several countries have enacted Social Security reforms that allow workers to invest some of their Social Security contributions in private savings plans. These efforts are proving to be both popular and successful.

  • Reformers must make sure that current retirees or workers nearing retirement will not be affected and will not see their benefits change. Moreover, any worker should have the choice to stay in the current system rather than choose the reform option.

  • 11/29/99: Who Killed Social Security Reform?   (more)

    11/5/99: Less Visible Burdens of Social Security   (more)

    11/4/99: Clinton's Squandered Legacy   (more)

    10/6/99: Senator Kerrey Rips Congress over Social Security   (more)

    9/30/99: Your SS Check is in the Mail ... Honest!!   (more)

    9/29/99: In Social Security Debate, Political Symbolism Still Rules   (more)

    9/99: The Union Campaign Against Social Security Reform   (more)

    9/14/99: Union Members Strongly Support IRAs Despite Union Leaders' Campaign   (more)

    9/14/99: Crunch Time for Social Security   (more)

    9/10/99: New Zogby Poll: Large Pluralities Support Privatization   (more)

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