(Washington, DC) - The reports on the supposed problems of Social Security based on the Social Security Administration's report yesterday are "totally misplaced", asserts former U.S. House Aging Committee Director Bob Weiner.
Weiner, who was Chief of Staff of the House Aging Committee under Rep. Claude Pepper and later worked for Reps. Charles Rangel, John Conyers, and the Clinton White House, said, "Everyone forgets that Social Security has already absorbed eleven 'deficit' years since 1960. The fact that there may be slight deficits beginning in 2016, which the full trust funds easily absorb for some thirty years, is nothing new. That is exactly what beneficiaries paid into the system to accomplish, since the format is an insurance program. Do we reimburse private insurance when they have to pay out? Moreover, the fact that the system goes into slight composite deficit four years earlier than predicted, now 2037, is no surprise given the currently crashed economy - and that year has always fluctuated based on the economy and could actually never happen if the economy approves."
"Even the very wise Wolf Blitzer stated that 'these numbers are far worse than experts had predicted'-but that is not true," Weiner contends. "Social Security is solvent for almost thirty years and even then, and even if the economic situation is stagnant (unlikely), the program still can pay 75% of current benefits and can make up the difference if necessary by temporary infusion of 1/3 the annual cost of the Iraq War or 1/3 of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy." Weiner adds, "Even that 'fix' will be negated in the following generation because the baby boomers had the fewest babies themselves in our history (2.1 per family vs. 2.9 now), so the system will have to pay benefits to fewer people."
"It's easy to throw out scare tactics to make news about Social Security-but they are badly inaccurate. The system is sound. The real problem is Medicare, which will have problems shortly-and it's time for Congress to allow Medicare price negotiations like the VA, imports of safe drugs for price competition, and ultimately, national health insurance as quickly as possible," Weiner concluded. Weiner has written several recent opeds on Social Security in major papers and regularly discussed the issue in media forums:
Source: Robert Weiner Associates 301-283-0821/202-329-1700