March 16, 2006

DeMint, Crapo Force Vote to Stop the Raid on Social Security

Budget Amendment would allow Social Security Surplus to be set aside for Social Security

WASHINGTON, D.C. â?? Today, the U.S. Senate is expected to vote on an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2007 Budget Resolution, introduced by U.S. Senators Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), that would allow the Senate to create a reserve fund to protect the Social Security surplus. â??We are about to have a moment of truth in the United States Senate,â?? Senator DeMint said. â??Seniors constantly tell me that if Congress would just stop using the Social Security surplus as a secret slush fund, the retirement system wouldnâ??t be in the crisis that it currently faces. This amendment is about honest accounting and restoring trust with seniors. It is outrageous that we are robbing from retirement funds to pay for wasteful spending, and I urge my colleagues to join me in stopping this abuse.â??â??A vote against this amendment means you support the raid on Social Security. Anyone opposed to this amendment is part of the problem,â?? said Senator DeMint. â??After today, every senator will be on record whether they oppose or support the raid. This is not about personal accounts, itâ??s about whether you believe Social Security should be saved or allowed to wither on the vine.â??â??The late Senator Moynihan once characterized the raid on the Social Security surplus as embezzlementâ??and thatâ??s indeed the case,â?? said Senator Crapo. â??The DeMint-Crapo proposal is a basic and much-needed first step to put an asset base behind Social security obligations. How can we stand for fiscal discipline before making this simple gesture? When Social Security surpluses begin to shrink in 2010, the impact on the budget will be massive. 2010 is within this yearâ??s budget windowâ??we need to be preparing for this day.â?? â??Opening up the Social Security debate again may be painful, but the pain to taxpayers in future years will be unbearable and we owe it to our children and future generations to ensure retirement benefits will be there when needed,â?? said Senator Crapo.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 allow 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.