Who’s Who in Social Security – An Introduction
In 1935, the Social Security Act created a number of major programs intended to provide an economic foundation for America’s families, from retirees to survivors, and from children to the disabled. Social Security is crucial to the well-being of the nearly 60 million beneficiaries depending on it, and will continue to be crucial for virtually every American in the future.
Over the past eight decades, the program has evolved to meet the changing needs of the country, and will undoubtedly continue to adjust along with the demographics of the American people. As we approach the 2016 presidential election cycle, it’s clear that Social Security will remain at the forefront of political platforms as they unfold and as America’s voters select their leadership for the years ahead.
Social Security’s primary components—the Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs—are a formidable portion of our country’s economic picture, with annual payouts accounting for more than 40% of total Federal expenditures. Beyond the sheer size of this expenditure, however, is the even more staggering fact that the Trust Funds established to handle income and disbursements from Social Security are systematically moving toward exhaustion.
The Social Security Board of Trustees has projected that the Disability Income component of OASDI will be depleted in 2016, triggering automatic reductions of an estimated 20% in payments to its beneficiaries late in the year. The remainder of Social Security’s Trust Fund balances will run out by 2034, according to the Trustees, with the result being an estimated 25% reduction in benefits.
The Time for Action is Now!
Social Security in general has become a volatile issue, now and in the months and years ahead. The Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC) has been in the forefront of a fight to bring solutions forth to address this impending crisis, and has taken the initiative to advance a legislative framework for a solution. As an action-oriented association, AMAC has put the well-being of its constituency at the top of its priority list, and has been resolute in its efforts to get the attention of lawmakers and the general public while there is still time to develop the most sensible solution to the problem.
Make no mistake about it…now is the time to take the steps that will ensure the stability of Social Security for future generations of Americans. Sooner rather than later is the catchphrase that must govern…the funding shortfalls cannot self-correct without action now.
In fact, the cost of waiting will far outweigh the effects of any tax increases that might be enacted.
Tackling the Problem
It’s a big undertaking…we know that. And there are legions of people involved in meeting the challenge. From the Congressional Representatives we’ve elected to resolve issues like this to the Social Security Administration officials who manage the myriad complexities of the program, there are countless names and faces enmeshed in the process to save the program, just as there are diverse professionals laboring to develop pathways to resolution. Like we said, it’s a big undertaking!
AMAC is focused squarely on protecting the interests of America’s seniors, and is committed to doing its part to promote the long-term solvency of Social Security. Similarly, the AMAC Foundation has dedicated a major part of its mission to promote a better understanding of Social Security issues for its constituency. These two goals have led to the creation of this “Who’s Who in Social Security” handbook for use as a guide in identifying the key players in the overall quest for a solution to Social Security’s dilemma. The material contained in this guide will serve to help point you to the people integral to the creation of any form of solution, and will provide additional insights into some of the proposed resolutions currently in play on this subject.
This “Who’s Who in Social Security” compilation reflects the efforts of AMAC and the AMAC Foundation in a continuing effort to provide education and assistance in resolving the Social Security crisis. AMAC’s Founder and President, Dan Weber, initiated the handbook’s creation earlier this year, and enlisted the support of key staff members to bring it to fruition, specifically:
- Amy Ogan, Executive Assistant to AMAC Dan Weber
- Bonny Salmeri, AMAC Delegate Program Assistant
- Cathy (C. J.) Miles, AMAC Certified Social Security Advisor
- Gerry Hafer, AMAC Foundation Executive Director
- Sean Kennedy, AMAC Assistant Research Analyst
Additional copies of this publication can be obtained by contacting Amy Ogan at 888-750-2622, or via email at [email protected].