February 12, 2005: Headlines: Staff: Politics: Congress: Wheeling Intelligencer: Jay Rockefeller has Own Plan For Social Security

Peace Corps Online: Directory: USA: Special Report: Jay Rockefeller worked on Peace Corps Staff in the 1960's: February 9, 2005: Index: PCOL Exclusive: Staffer Jay Rockefeller : February 12, 2005: Headlines: Staff: Politics: Congress: Wheeling Intelligencer: Jay Rockefeller has Own Plan For Social Security

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Jay Rockefeller has Own Plan For Social Security

Jay Rockefeller has Own Plan For Social Security

Jay Rockefeller has Own Plan For Social Security

Jay Has Own Plan For Social Security


WHEELING - U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller said in Wheeling Friday that he has a plan to shore up the future of Social Security. At the same time, he also is certain the system doesn't yet need to be fixed.
"The president has asked for ideas," said Rockefeller, D-W.Va., a member of the Senate Finance Committee. "This is a way to solve the problem of Social Security once and for all. It's incredibly simple, and it's my idea.

"But there is this feeling right now that a huge crisis exists in the Social Security system. It doesn't."

Rockefeller spoke to a group of 10 people of various ages who came out for his town hall forum at Hoss's Restaurant in Wheeling Friday afternoon.

Rockefeller described his idea to ensure the future of Social Security as follows:

President Bush plans to implement $11.1 trillion in tax cuts, he said. It also is suggested by experts that adding $3.7 trillion to the Social Security system will assure its future indefinitely.

Instead of returning the money to taxpayers, Rockefeller proposes taking $3.7 trillion from funds set aside for tax cuts and putting it toward the Social Security system. This would leave about two-thirds of the money that still could be used for tax cuts and refunds.

"If I have to choose between granting the fourth tax cut in four years or permanently fixing Social Security, I have to choose the latter," he said.

Experts have predicted that unless changes are made in the Social Security system, the guaranteed benefits could go bankrupt sometime between 2042 and 2050.

Rockefeller, though, doesn't think immediate action is necessary.

"We have a huge surplus in the system that keeps getting bigger," he pointed out. "We will continue to take in more money through payroll deductions than we pay out in benefits through 2018. After that, we start to take in a lesser amount each year. But we have established a trust fund, and that is what trust funds are for."

There is $3.5 trillion in the Social Security reserve fund, according to Rockefeller. Social Security can continue to pay out the same benefits until at least 2042.

"After that - if Congress does nothing before that time to help Social Security - there is going to be a little bit of a cut," he added. "But the chance of our doing nothing about Social Security before 2042 is 0 percent.

"Even after 2042, the recipient still would receive 70 to 80 percent of their benefits. The idea that you could just get cut off then is ridiculous," Rockefeller said.

Rockefeller cited numbers stating that West Virginia and its residents depend more on Social Security than any other state.

About 406,000 West Virginians receive Social Security benefits. As many as 64 percent receive these as retirement benefits, while others are survivors of benefactors or the disabled, according to Rockefeller.

As for the tax cuts, those most likely to benefit are those earning at least $300,000 annually, he said.

Only about 6,000 West Virginians receiving Social Security would qualify.

"I would be one of them," Rockefeller acknowledged. "But I think I can make it without it (the tax cut).

"If I have to choose between helping 400,000 West Virginians or 6,000, I have to go with the 400,000," he said.

When this story was posted in February 2005, this was on the front page of PCOL:

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Story Source: Wheeling Intelligencer

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Staff; Politics; Congress



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