Letter to Senator Rand Paul on Social Security Comments

Print
Written by Dean Baker   
Thursday, 17 March 2011 16:30

March 17, 2011

The Honorable Rand Paul
SRC-5 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington DC, 22204

Dear Senator Paul,

During a recent episode of NPR’s "All Things Considered" you said that "... Social Security is broken". However, this is not the case. The government bonds that comprise the Social Security trust fund allow the program to maintain full solvency through the year 2037. And even if nothing is done at that point, the program will still to be able to pay benefits of around 75 percent from then on. This information is easily accessible on the Social Security website and has been confirmed by the CBO and other organizations.

You also said that the only way we can fix Social Security and the only way it can continue is if we look at the eligibility. Insofar as you mean the shortfall projected after 2037, there are many other options, including lifting the payroll cap or scheduling modest increases in the future when funds will be needed.

As the discussion on Social Security continues, I hope you and your staff will have the opportunity to further review the design and finances of the program. If you would like any additional background on the program, I would be happy to assist you.