May 01 2006

Social Security and Medicare Trustees Issue New Warnings

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) made the following statement after the release of the Social Security and Medicare Trustees Reports. The report concludes that by 2017 Social Security will begin to pay out more in benefits than it collects in taxes and will be insolvent in 2040, one year earlier than previous estimates. Medicare reserve funds will be exhausted by 2018, two years earlier than previously believed. “The latest report proves that time is not on our side when it comes to reforming Social Security and Medicare. Every year we fail to address these issues makes the solution more difficult. “In the Senate I have proposed several combinations that would lead to Social Security solvency. Many of my Republican colleagues have done the same. Unfortunately, no member of the Democratic Party has come on board. When it comes to Social Security and Medicare reform, the Democratic Party solution seems to be blame Republicans. It needs to end. “The number of workers paying taxes to support Social Security dropped from 16-to-1 in 1950 to 3-to-1 today. Within a generation there will be only 2 workers to support each retiree. The consequences of ignoring the demographic time bomb facing Social Security are severe. If we fail to modernize the system we will be forced to either raise payroll taxes 50 percent or cut benefits by one-third. The first choice poses a significant risk to the economy and the second devastates tens of millions of seniors. We can fix Social Security if we roll up our sleeves and get to work. To do nothing is political malpractice.” #####