Social Security provides critical financial support to more than 56 million beneficiaries, including widows and those with disabilities. Social Security is funded by the payroll taxes of current workers to pay the benefits of current retirees.
The Social Security Board of Trustees estimates that by about 2035 the Social Security Trust Fund will be depleted. When that happens, beneficiaries could face a painful 23% benefit cut. The Social Security Disability Insurance program is expected to exhaust its trust fund in 2016 – potentially triggering a 21% cut in benefits.
Medicare is the cornerstone upon which all other government health programs rest. In their most recent report, the Medicare Trustees projected that the account that funds Medicare’s hospital benefit will go bankrupt by about 2024.
The Need for Reform
The longer we wait to address these problems, the greater likelihood that more people will be impacted by such cuts. In order to keep the promises we made to future generations about their health and retirement security, comprehensive reforms must be enacted to protect these programs. Postponing reforms to these programs will result only in increased taxes and loss of crucial services, leaving millions of Americans uncertain as to how to plan for retirement. I support responsible and intelligent reforms that preserve Medicare and Social Security for our children and grandchildren, while ensuring that our nation’s seniors continue to be protected. As the son of a mother who utilizes these programs and as a father of two young daughters, I’ll work to ensure that Social Security and Medicare are preserved for our seniors – and that future generations are not saddled with crippling financial debt.