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Obama Says Social Security 'Not in Crisis,' No Need for New 'Schemes'

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President Obama said Wednesday the nation's Social Security system is "not in crisis" and doesn't need "any newfangled schemes" to keep it solvent for the next generation.

Speaking to middle class families at a small outdoor event in Columbus, Ohio, the president said an independent commission is considering a "bunch of ways" to bolster the Social Security trust fund. But those ways do not include privatization -- an idea briefly embraced by the previous administration of George W. Bush.
President Obama in Columbus, Ohio"I have been adamant in saying Social Security should not be privatized," Obama said, "and it will not be privatized as long as I'm president." In the midst of difficult campaigns, Democrats often champion the cause of the popular retirement system, which is in its 75th year.

Rep. Paul Ryan, (R-Wis.) recently proposed gradually raising the Social Security retirement age to 70 and reducing benefits in the future to wealthy retirees. Ryan has also discussed giving those under the age of 55 the option of creating individual investment accounts financed by payroll taxes.

A recent government forecast said the Social Security trust fund should be able to meet its obligations until 2037 even if no changes are made in the existing system.

"There are some fairly modest changes that could be made without resorting to any newfangled schemes that would continue Social Security for another 75 years, where everybody would get the benefits they deserve," Obama said.

The president also said the economy is improving "slowly but surely." It is "getting stronger but it suffered a big trauma."

Obama was in Ohio to help raise money for Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland, who is in a tough re-election fight against former Republican Rep. John Kasich.

As he was leaving the first event, a reporter asked Obama if he had any second thoughts about saying recently that he supported the rights of Muslims to build a mosque two blocks from the site of the 9/11 attacks in Lower Manhattan. "The answer is, no regrets," he answered.

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sfamilyent

We put social security in place to attempt to protect our citizens from the dangers of old age, poverty, unemployment, and the burdens of widows and fatherless children (Wikipedia). I think program benefits should be reduced based on income, and potential income, from other sources - and that people should be given the choice of receiving a lump sum payout at retirement, according to some income and/or asset level guidelines. I think that I am not unlike many other Americans who have inner conflicts between wanting personal liberties free from government restrictions, control and intervention; seeing the need for large social safety nets to assist those that find themselves in situations where they cannot help themselves; and not wanting to provide hand outs to working age able bodied adults who lack ambition and prefer to live off the charity of others rather than work to improve themselves and their situation. What I find most odd about this, is that my elderly retired conservative parents have encouraged me to begin receiving benefits as soon as I am eligible to attempt to maximize my payout during my expected life span, regardless of my financial situation; while they simultaneously support raising the retirement age and reducing benefits - as long as their benefits are unaffected. I find their desire to maximize their payout, and to suggest that I do the same, while simultaneously supporting delaying and reducing payout for others to be typical of the self serving attitude that creates division and conflict amongst us, rather than promoting cooperation...

August 19 2010 at 10:52 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
ssgoodluck

Who is going to disagree with Obama and be labeled a racist or in need of an investigation? Just ask him if Social Security is in such good shape why does he and all the congressmen have their own program that does not contribute to Social Security? Their program is nothing new but it does not buy votes with frivolous and bizarre payouts for the have nots. Harsh but true, don't believe it? Just ask around.

August 18 2010 at 11:30 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
sysaphus71

Listen ....there is NO money in any S.S. fund...none, there are only a drawer full of I.O.U.'s. Any of you who think there is a mountain of money stashed away will be disappointed if you think the government just goes there and scoops up some cash to send to you....As a matter of fact this "trust" fund is unfunded by hundreds of billions...The ONLY thing that is between you and living in the street is "the full faith and credit of the U.S.A. LET ME BREAK IT TO YOU SLOWLY......that "faith" ain't carrying the water like it used to. Start balancing the budget...then you can breathe again...otherwise the picture is not rosy.

August 18 2010 at 10:19 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to sysaphus71's comment
tausands

Evidently you don't know what U.S. Savings bonds are. The government has never, ever failed to pay them with interest. That's not an IOU. An IOU is what one of my right-wing friends gave me when I lent him $1000 to keep him from being evicted. By the way, THAT IOU was worthless. He never paid back.

August 19 2010 at 12:25 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
George & Nancy

Yhey're also prosposing to raise the age of social security t 67.

August 18 2010 at 7:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
davmusgro

If we got money for government pensions we got money for social security

August 18 2010 at 7:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
punnster

If Obama says, "There is no problem.," You can bet there is big problem.

August 18 2010 at 7:25 PM Report abuse +13 rate up rate down Reply
stimarth

Our Presedent is a Harvard Grad and say's Social Security is not brokeand it is fine.........three days ago the media stated that Socal Security is PAYING OUT MORE THAN IT IS TAKING IN. Junior High Accounting 101, if you are takeing in less than you are taking in that means bad news.

August 18 2010 at 6:44 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Betty

Paying back the trust fund that the government has borrowed would go a long ways to make Social Security sustainable. Not millions, but trillions were borrowed over the years. I have paid in for 45 years and fully expect to receive my benefits as they are owed to me. I agree with one of the comments. People who reach a certain age are no longer able to work at the pace of younger workers and a lot of them start failing in health. What if you are a construction worker etc? Want to work until you are 70? People just start to wear out when they get old.

August 18 2010 at 6:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dodie1990

The problem is over half take it early at 62. The "early" age should have gone from 62 to 64 when the "full"age went from 65 to 67. The real problem is the disability pprogram takes much money and was never intended to be a Social Security program.. If the disability program was removed from Social Security there would be plenty of money

August 18 2010 at 6:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bob & Cinda

Congress has used Social Security as a slush fund for years and now the piggy bank is stuffed full of IOUs. Isn't funny that none of those Congressmen that spent the money will be using Social Security for themselves? Apparently it isn't good enough for them.

August 18 2010 at 6:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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