Since the Second New Deal and the Social Security

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Since the Second New Deal and the Social Security Act of 1935 the elderly and disabled of the United States have relied upon their monthly checks from the government to survive. However, from its inception the Social Security system has been plagued with numerous problems. Out of all the problems that have enveloped the system. There are only two that have seriously threaten the existence of the entire Social Security system. The first problem that jeopardized the existence of the system was in 1937 when there was a movement in the courts to declare the actions and creation of the system as being unconstitutional. This movement to prevent the establishment of the Social Security system never reached the Supreme Court. The second and most recent problem to face the system is by far the greatest threat ever to the existence of the system. This new threat is one that has been perpetuated by the inability of the system to solve the problem.

The problem that is at hand today is that the Social Security system will not be able to pay its recipients their deserved funds. This problem was created by the fact that longevity has increased and that in the next 5 to 10 years the baby boomers will become eligible for Social Security. What is unique about the problem is that the system¹s funds will not be completely depleted until the year 2029 . The problem of depleted funds in the system is created because the system is unable to adjust to the change in life style and cost of living. Thus the system over time will not take in enough money or give out enough to support the recipient with the proper funds to survive.

However as a result of a period of healthy economic growth, reduced unemployment and low inflation, the long-range solvency predictions about the Social Security system have improved over the past year, according to the Social Security Board of Trustees . The robust economy we are currently enjoying and the enactment of the Balanced Budget Act support this statement. With the past year of economic success the board predicts that the system will remain solvent until 2032 . Kenneth S. Apfel, commissioner of the Social Security Administration, calls the system's long-term financial problems manageable, but warns against relying on the often unpredictable economy to aid in the future of the ailing system.

It is clear that action must be taken to stave off a serious Social Security crisis. As a Senator from Pennsylvania I am in a difficult and unique position. Pennsylvania is a state with two vastly different spectrums of the Social Security system. The first is the urban spectrum where most of the recipients are barley living above the poverty line. There are two causes for this problem. First, the cost of living in the city is exorbitantly expensive. Second, many of the urban recipients had jobs that were low paying; thus the amount of return on their Social Security checks was low.

The second is the rural spectrum where most of the people are having few problems with the system. This is because the cost of living in the countryside is low. The returns that the recipients get from the system enable them to live a comfortable life.

Because of the vastly different spectrums within my state I must be careful when supporting reforms for the Social Security system. I can not support a reform that will hurt one spectrum and benefit the other. Also being a Senator I must keep in mind how the reforms will effect the rest of the nation. I must keep the mentality of a statesman at all times.

Being aware of the crisis and the circumstances in my state and the nation there are several reforms that I feel should never be implemented into the system. One such reform is the proposal to privatize the system. Supporters of privatizing the Social Security system argue that privatization provides the individual with control of the Social Security portion of their retirement plan. Thus allowing investors to achieve higher rates of return and higher benefits than Social Security provides. I feel this reform is not acceptable. In order to change the system to a

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