Transcript: Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue on the 2012 Social Security & Medicare trustees report

Transcript of remarks by Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue on the 2012 Social Security & Medicare trustees report:

Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue. SOURCE: C-Span.org

“Speaking of bipartisan congeniality, it’s time for Congress to take on the task of re-tooling Social Security for the long haul.

Read more: Analysis: Reforms needed to ensure sustainability of Social Security & Medicare

“This year’s 3-year movement on the exhaustion date for the OASDI trust fund makes legislative action more critical than ever.

“Congress must begin the process of deciding what levels of benefits and taxation best serve the interests of younger Americans, who are increasingly uncertain as to whether they can count on Social Security.

“It is also now vital for Congress to consider re-allocating assets between the trust funds so that disabled Americans do not have to fear reductions of benefits in 2016.

“Finally, as in the past, I want to urge you in the media not to complicate Congress’s responsibilities. Please, please remember that exhaustion is an actuarial term of art and it does not mean that there will be no money left to pay any benefits.

“After 2033, even if Congress does nothing, there will still be sufficient assets to pay about 75% of the current level of benefits. It’s not acceptable, but it’s still a fact that there will be financial assets there.

“I also want you to note that this year’s change in the disability insurance trust fund, as with last year’s, is due almost entirely to demographics and the recession.

“In the past years, there have been reports to the contrary and I urge you not to repeat that reporting.

“We need the debate to begin, and we need it to be civil and fact-based. Clear and accurate reporting on the complexities of the system is essential to that debate.”

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2 Comments on “Transcript: Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue on the 2012 Social Security & Medicare trustees report

  1. Pingback: Transcript: Reischauer on the 2012 Social Security & Medicare trustees report | What The Folly?!

  2. Pingback: Analysis: Reforms needed to ensure sustainability of Social Security & Medicare | What The Folly?!

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