Mullin' It Over Column
Your Social Security Concerns, Answered
By Congressman Markwayne Mullin
In this week’s Mullin It Over, I’d like to take the time to answer a few of the questions that I’ve heard from my constituents recently about Social Security solvency. Protecting Social Security is a priority for all of us and it’s important that your questions are answered.
“Can you tell me why you voted for stealing from SS (Social Security)?”
Posted on Facebook on October 2, 2018
In April, the House considered H.J. Res 2, proposing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution of the United States. If it had passed, H.J. Res 2 would have forced Congress to only spend in a given year what they brought in as income. I voted in favor of the amendment because the spending in Washington, D.C. is out of control. Without a balanced budget amendment, Congress will never be forced to rein in outrageous federal spending.
Let me be clear, my vote for the balanced budget amendment was not a vote to ‘steal’ from Social Security. This scare tactic has been used by liberal groups and organizations to rile up fear among Americans who have dutifully paid into the Social Security fund. Just like families across the country have to spend within their means, the government should be held to a spending limit and a budget.
“A good starting point in my view would be that the government replace all the funds it has ‘borrowed’ from SSA over the years.”
Constituent Letter from August 18, 2018
Every year since 1984, Social Security brought in more income than necessary to pay out benefits. By the end of 2017, the Social Security fund held $2.89 trillion in reserves. Rather than sit in the bank, the SSA invests its surplus in government bonds that earn interest. These bonds, which are fully backed by the U.S. Treasury can then be used for other government needs, such as constructing roads and bridges, while they are making money for its Social Security beneficiaries. You can even see how the investments are doing on the Social Security Administration’s website at this link: https://www.ssa.gov/oact/progdata/funds.html.
“A Balanced Budget Amendment would mean dramatic cuts to Social Security and Medicare. Retirees and disabled Americans are the most cruelly impacted by this terrible proposal.”
Constituent Letter from April 12, 2018
Not true. A balanced budget amendment would mandate that the SSA could only pay out in benefits what they brought in as revenue in a given year. As I previously stated, SSA’s income has exceeded its payouts every year since 1984. I believe Social Security helps form a very important safety net for Americans. I am committed to making sure these programs are made solvent by ensuring they are viable for future generations while at the same time protecting current recipients from having their benefits cuts.
“Social Security is an earned benefit that keeps many older Americans and those whose disabilities prevent them from working out of poverty. The balanced budget amendment would break that contract with the American people.”
Constituent Letter from April 12, 2018
Social Security is an earned benefit that Americans have paid into. I believe all Americans deserve the benefits to which they are entitled and worked so hard to earn. I also believe that with our national debt now over $21 trillion, it is beyond time for members of Congress to start doing their jobs and work towards paying down our debt.
Still have more questions about Social Security solvency? Visit SSA’s internet myths site at https://www.ssa.gov/history/InternetMyths.html.
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