June 22, 2005

CRAPO WANTS TO LOCK UP SOCIAL SECURITY SURPLUS

Bill introduced tomorrow ensures surplus used only to pay for benefits

Washington, DC â?? As the Senate Finance Committee continues work on preserving and protecting Social Security, Idaho Senator Mike Crapo has joined with several colleagues on legislation that would prevent Social Security surpluses from being used for anything except Social Security. The bill, â??Stop the Raid on Social Security Act of 2005,â?? will be introduced on Thursday by South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint along with Senators Rick Santorum (R-Pennsylvania), Lindsay Graham (R-South Carolina), Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma) and Crapo. It creates personal â??lock boxâ?? accounts for the funds, preventing them from being used for other federal purposes. The measure stops Social Security surpluses from being spent on other government programs and ensures that the funds, which amount to over $790 billion from 2006-2016, are used only to pay for Social Security benefits. It does not create any changes for present or near retirees or to disability benefits. It allows private accounts to be set up for individuals born in 1950 or later; workers may opt out if they do not want to set up such an account. Crapo said, â??Itâ??s a matter of being honest with the American people. This legislation does not aim to address the looming solvency issue, but before we can tackle such a monstrous problem, folks need to know that the government is not going to keep spending their money. Iâ??ve heard from many Idahoans who are concerned about the Social Security program and I want to make certain that we have an open dialogue that includes all the possible solutions to preserving Social Security. We should not be cutting benefits or raising taxes. We need to get a better return for our investment in Social Security and this measure would be a small step in providing just such an opportunity.â??