Social Security and Welfare
Social Security and Medicare are entitlements that have been promised to our seniors. These entitlements must not be manipulated to renege on the promises we currently owe to our seniors. However, we must come up with a new plan to ensure that Social Security remains solvent for future generations. We cannot assume that our country will be able to sustain its current pace when it comes to Social Security and Medicare programs.
It is an honor to represent two communities—Sun City and Sun City West—that are among the finest retirement communities in our nation, and I have also been entrusted with the significant responsibility of working to preserve our Social Security Trust Fund. It is a fund that if ignored, will remain on a dangerous course towards bankruptcy. Currently, entitlement programs, including Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Unemployment Compensation, and Veteran’s benefits, consume approximately half of every tax dollar that the federal government spends. The Social Security Trust Fund is no longer an actuarial fund, where those paying in money receive it back at retirement. Instead, present benefits are being paid out of payroll taxes from workers. Almost no surplus is being saved or invested.
If we continue on this path, in approximately 20 years we will find Social Security on the verge of bankruptcy. It is critical that we phase in an optional personal investment component to Social Security. We should not reduce benefits to Social Security recipients who want to continue to work. Ultimately, if we do not maintain a balanced federal budget, and begin to phase in these items, we break faith with Americans in their twilight years. The protection of Social Security is vital for America’s senior citizens.
Instead of expanding our nation’s welfare system, I believe Congress should do more to empower families, churches, and faith-based organizations to come alongside those who are struggling to put food on the table, trying to find shelter for themselves and their families, and scrapping for other needs. We will never reach the full potential of the private sector’s generosity if the government is increasing its handout programs. No matter what the government does for its welfare programs, we will always have the impoverished amongst us; and the more government attempts to give to the “poor,” the more “poor” this country seems to have. The kindest act government can bestow upon the needy is to back away from promising more to them, and encourage these people to work even harder for a better life. Our country simply cannot financially sustain the load of people already on its welfare rolls.
More on Social Security and Welfare
Late last week, news broke that the Justice Department, at the direction of the Obama administration, would be suing Arizona for its recent immigration bill, S.B. 1070. This move was yet another misstep in what has been a disastrous mishandling of Arizona's considerable illegal immigration problem.
March 20, 2010 - Congressman Trent Franks (AZ-02) today introduced an amendment to the Democrats' proposed government takeover of health care that would prohibit the bill's tens of billions of dollars in cuts to the Medicare Advantage program. The text of Franks' testimony in support of the amendment is included below:
October 28, 2009 - Congressman Trent Franks today released the following statement criticizing the Democrats' health care proposal's harmful effects on the health care coverage of senior citizens across the country:|
"In the middle of a discussion over how we should go about assisting our nation's uninsured, it is highly ironic that Democrats are talking about cutting coverage to those who need it the most -- our nation's senior citizens!