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Congressman Tom Cole

Representing the 4th District of Oklahoma

Social Security

I am committed to addressing the challenges facing Social Security and in protecting it for current workers, as well as future retirees.

Social Security

Many seniors live on a fixed income, and I know how important Social Security checks are for their medicines and day-to-day living expenses. Based on current forecasts, Social Security can pay full benefits until 2033, after which it will only be able to pay 75 percent of its benefits. In 2011, Social Security saw its expenditures exceed its revenues for the first time in the program's history.

I am very committed to addressing the challenges facing Social Security and in protecting it for current workers, as well as future retirees. While the system is not facing an imminent crisis, it will face some irrefutable structural problems in the not-too-distant future. And every year that we delay addressing the issue, the solutions become more expensive and more painful.

I support legislation that would make changes to Social Security for the next generation of recipients, those under 55, while leaving the current system in place for those who have planned their retirements around it.


Like Social Security, Medicare has become a critical component of the social safety net upon which many of our senior citizens rely. And also like Social Security, Medicare is on an unsustainable funding path that will render it bankrupt by 2024 unless significant reforms are undertaken. And making matters even worse, the healthcare reform that was recently passed by Congress and signed into law by the president, cuts an additional $718 billion from Medicare.

While in Congress, I have supported the Ryan Budget, which will make no changes to Medicare for those 55 and older. Under this plan, those 54 and younger will have the option of keeping traditional Medicare or moving into a program modeled after Medicare Part D, one of the only government programs to ever come in under budget by 40 percent.

More on Social Security

September 30, 2015 Weekly Columns

Oklahoma Economic Report - Congressman Tom Cole

Perhaps the most daunting issue that we face as Americans is the massive amount of public debt that exists and the rate at which it is growing. Certainly, the staggering number of nearly $18.4 trillion calls for real solutions to change the debt trajectory. In an effort to return our nation to fiscally-firm footing, it’s important to consider how we reached this point while also recognizing the areas where we’ve been successful.

August 23, 2015 News Stories

Ada News - Eric Swanson

Lawmakers have floated several proposals for fixing Social Security, such as raising the eligibility age and increasing the income levels subject to Social Security taxes, U.S. Rep. Tom Cole said Thursday.

Cole also said he was optimistic that Congress would find a solution to Social Security’s financial woes.

“I think in the end, the public will force people to the table,” he said.

August 17, 2015 Weekly Columns

For decades, Social Security has brought peace of mind to generations of American retirees and disabled citizens. From that first paycheck and onward into every stage of working life, Social Security is an investment program that has served tens of millions of American workers. But as we are all too aware, the program’s ability to keep the same promise to future generations of American workers is in grave danger.

March 29, 2015 News Stories

The Oklahoman - Editorial Board

NO, U.S. Rep. Tom Cole isn’t bored and simply looking for a challenge. Instead Cole, R-Moore, says his decision to try to come up with a way to keep Social Security afloat is based on a firm belief that it can be done.

“The problem is it’s easily fixed,” Cole said in an interview last week. “It’s the politics that’s hard.”

March 24, 2015 Press Release
Washington, DC – Congressman John K. Delaney (MD-6) and Congressman Tom Cole (OK-4) have filed legislation to guarantee the long-term solvency of Social Security. The Social Security Commission Act of 2015 creates a bicameral and bipartisan commission that is designed to bring both parties and chambers of Congress together, along with the President, to ensure that Social Security is fully funded for decades to come.
January 25, 2015 News Stories

The Hill - Rebecca Shabad

A Social Security fund that provides benefits to nearly nine million disabled people is projected to run out by the end of 2016, and a new House rule could cause headaches for majority Republicans during the upcoming push to shore it up. 

The rule, which the House passed earlier this month, puts up a procedural roadblock against legislation that would redistribute the payroll tax to replenish the Social Security Disability Insurance Trust Fund. 

June 4, 2014 News Stories

The Hill - Cristina Marcos

Reps. John Delaney (D-Md.) and Tom Cole (R-Okla.) have introduced a bill to establish a commission to study how Social Security can achieve fiscal solvency.

The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that Social Security will be unable to pay full benefits by 2031. 

Delaney argued that Congress should start reviewing how to maintain Social Security sooner rather than later.

May 30, 2014 Press Release
Washington, DC – Congressman John K. Delaney (MD-6) and Congressman Tom Cole (OK-4) filed today the Social Security Commission Act of 2014. The legislation creates a bicameral and bipartisan commission that is modelled after the 1983 Social Security Commission.
August 17, 2012 Weekly Columns

You know election season must be in full swing when "Mediscare" accusations start flying.  Unfortunately, the heated rhetoric obscures the most relevant and startling point of all: Medicare will go bankrupt by 2024.  This is not speculation or a partisan claim; it is a fact documented in this year's annual report from the Medicare and Social Security Trustees.

Rather than confront this reality and communicate honestly with the American people about options to save the vital program, the Obama campaign has chosen the time-honored tradition of sowing fear and division.