Social Security Changes

Gongwer News Service - March 24, 2005

Gongwer News Service

Social Security Changes: Separately, Rep. Tim Cassell (D-Madison) said he would introduce a resolution urging federal officials to reject any Social Security reform package that establishes “carve-out” of contributions for private management.

While acknowledging that the system is facing a financial shortfall, he said the private accounts could end up losing money, which would likely force the state to expand its safety net for Social Security recipients.

“The foundations of Social Security are to provide a basic standard of income,” Mr. Cassell said. “People must realize that the risk involved with private accounts is very real.”

Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Columbus), a supporter of the resolution, said there is bi-partisan opposition at the federal level to the carve-out plan, noting that the resolution should also be adopted on a bi-partisan basis. “We are in the right position to slow this down,” she said.

Sen. Dann is expected to offer a companion resolution in the Senate.

Separately Thursday, Policy Matters Ohio released a report noting that Ohio social security recipients age 65 and older rely on the program for 68% of their income. Reducing those benefits, the group’s Pam Rosado said, would hurt older Ohioans.

The report, co-authored by the Economic Policy Institute, notes that unmarried women overage 65 receive 83% of their income from social security. African-Americans and Hispanics in the age group receive 79% and 83%, respectively, of their income from the program.

Additionally, the study shows that 1.9 million, or 17%, of Ohioans receive social security benefits, nearly half of whom would have incomes below the poverty line without those incomes.

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