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Lately, we’ve heard some politicians in Washington talking about making changes to Social Security such as cutting the benefits we've earned to reduce the federal budget deficit.

Social Security hasn’t contributed to the current deficit, so politicians shouldn’t be considering cutting benefits to fix it.  Instead of targeting Social Security for unfair cuts, Congress should cut down on waste, close tax loopholes, and get rid of pork-barrel spending, which, if you don't remember your early Civics classes, refers to bills overloaded with special spending and projects designed to appeal to a particular politician's constituents.

The politicians are right, however. We need to make some changes to keep Social Security strong. Any changes should be made to ensure future generations can collect on the money they contribute, not to fix the budget mess Washington has created. If you pay into Social Security, you should receive the full benefits you’ve earned over a lifetime of hard work.

Companies can dissolve. Pensions can be terminated. The stock market can crash. But Social Security benefits have always been there.  It’s time for Washington to take Social Security benefits off the chopping block and focus on the true drivers of the federal budget deficit.


William Waldman

AARP New Jersey Executive Council