The Social Security system would be best served by bringing all public-sector employees into the program and taxing all wages for contributions, rather than just the first $90,000, according to a study released today by EBRI. That approach would hold more promise than diverting part of the payroll taxes into individual accounts as President George W. Bush proposes, the paper said. "There is no easy answer to 'winners and losers' in Social Security reform: the current system is unsustainable under current assumptions without either benefit or tax changes, and whatever is done - including nothing at all - will affect different people in different ways," Dallas Salisbury, president of the Employee Benefit Research Institute, said in a statement.
Also today, Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., ranking Democrat on the House Education and the Workforce Committee, said Mr. Bush's attempt to overhaul Social Security is misguided. "The fact is that Social Security is the most secure part of our retirement system," said Mr. Miller during a committee hearing on the retirement security crisis. "It covers over 96% of all American workers and provides over 50% retirement to two-thirds of all retirees. Social Security is funded through 2042 and will continue to have sufficient revenues to pay 80% of all promised benefits in perpetuity. No other retirement system in the U.S. - whether public or private - can make that kind of promise."