March 16, 2006

53 Senators Vote to Raid Social Security

DeMint-Crapo Amendment Would Have Allowed the Senate to Stop Spending Social Security Surplus

Washington, D.C. â?? Today, fifty-three U.S. Senators voted against an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2007 Budget Resolution, introduced by U.S. Senators Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), which would have allowed the Senate to create a reserve fund to protect the Social Security surplus. â??Sadly, fifty-three senators turned their backs on Americaâ??s seniors,â?? Senator DeMint said. â??There is simply no way to save Social Security if we donâ??t have the courage stop using the surplus as a secret slush fund. Iâ??m thankful there were forty-six senators who stood with Americaâ??s seniors to end the raid. We will not be deterred by cynics who offer no solutions.â??â??Those who voted against this amendment voted to raid Social Security,â?? said Senator DeMint. â??Now, every senator will be on record whether they oppose or support the raid. This said absolutely nothing about personal accounts, it was about whether you believe Social Security should be saved or allowed to wither on the vine.â??â??Iâ??m saddened this amendment was characterized inaccurately as a privatization move,â?? said Senator Crapo. â??The American public and future generations of taxpayers will suffer if we cannot address the issues regarding Social Security and fiscal discipline. It is unfortunate that we continue to have partisan rhetoric cloud the issue, and I pledge to work with other senators to address the issue.â??The current Social Security system allows Congress to spend the Social Security surplus on other government programs. Including interest, Congress has raided $1.7 trillion from Social Security since 1985. The surplus now only consists of IOUâ??s stacked in a vault in West Virginia that can only be paid back by raising taxes or cutting spending.The DeMint-Crapo Amendment to Stop the Raid on Social Security would have allowed the Senate to pass legislation with the following requirements:â?¢ Social Security surpluses must be used to help pay for future benefitsâ?¢ That it make no changes to the benefits of those Americans born before January 1, 1950â?¢ That it provide a voluntary option for younger Americans to obtain legally binding ownership of a portion of their benefits.