Heritage Foundation on Social Security



Make Social Security real insurance, not income replacement

Heritage proposes to strengthen the Social Security system by tightening its benefits and returning it to its original purpose: a guarantee that older Americans won't fall into poverty. Heritage proposes to make Social Security "real insurance" for Americans as they reach retirement.

Social Security will gradually be transformed from an "income replacement" system back to its original purpose of guaranteeing seniors freedom from fear of poverty and assuring a decent retirement income. This means that Social Security benefits will evolve over time into a flat payment to those who work more than 35 years--a flat payment that is sufficient to keep them out of poverty throughout their retirement. Because the new Social Security is a real insurance system, designed to protect seniors from poverty, retirees with high incomes from sources other than Social Security will receive a smaller check, and very affluent seniors will receive no check.

Source: 2012 campaign website SavingTheDream.org , Dec 20, 2012

Minorities realize dismal return from Social Security

A questioner noted, "The average African-American male life expectancy is 69. But if the age is going to go to 67, you do the math. That's 2 years." The numbers came from a 1998 report by the Heritage Foundation, which assumed that every African-American man would live to EXACTLY 69 years of age, and then drop dead.

But Heritage ignored the fact that black males, like white males, die at every age. And Social Security also pays disability and survivor benefits. And because of the enormous racial inequality in this country, African-Americans are much more likely than whites to receive both.

In 2003, the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office found that "in the aggregate, blacks and Hispanics have higher disability rates and lower lifetime earnings, and thus receive greater benefits relative to taxes than whites."

Which is quite a contradiction to the Heritage Foundation's finding that "low-income African-American males realize particularly dismal rates of return from Social Security."

Source: The Truth (with jokes), by Al Franken, p.195-197 , Oct 25, 2005

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Page last updated: Sep 24, 2016