Social Security was conceived so that FICA revenues from the current workforce would pay benefits for current retirees. This system has worked because the ratio of workers to retirees allowed it to do so. However, the numbers are now trending the other way. For example, in 1950, 16 workers paid into Social Security for every beneficiary. Today, there are only 3.3 workers for every beneficiary, and the ratio is shrinking. Current estimates indicate that Social Security will begin to pay out more than it takes in by 2017. This poses a major challenge to the future of the Social Security system.
I am fully committed to preserving Social Security benefits for current retirees, as well as those who are approaching retirement age. Social Security is a sacred promise to Americans, and Congress can protect it if we act in a fiscally responsible way. Also, in seeking solutions to ensure benefits for future generations, I would oppose risky “quick-fix” financial moves some favor that I believe would further undermine Social Security. Instead, I want to instill greater fiscal accountability for all federal spending while examining practical means of giving younger individuals more control over how the money they contribute to Social Security is spent.