April 5, 2017
The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare enthusiastically endorses the Social Security 2100 Act, which was introduced today in the U.S. House by Congressman John Larson (D-CT-1). The bill would keep Social Security solvent into the next century while increasing benefits and cost-of-living adjustments --- and giving millions of seniors a tax break.
“Congressman Larson’s bill gives lie to the myth that Social Security is going bankrupt and the only way to save it is by cutting benefits and raising the retirement age,” says National Committee President Max Richtman. “This legislation asks the wealthy to start paying their fair share so that current and future retirees know that Social Security is there for them well into the future – solid, strong, and uncompromised.” Since 2014, the National Committee’s Boost Social Security Now campaign has lobbied Congress to pass expansion legislation on behalf of its millions of members and supporters.
In a Facebook Live interview with the National Committee Tuesday, Congressman Larson said he hopes his bill will ride the wave of grassroots energy that defeated the GOP healthcare plan last month. “What we saw was people saying, ‘Wait a minute, keep your hands off my healthcare.’ It’s the same with Social Security. We want to continue to build a groundswell in this country.” Larson says the bill has already attracted more than 150 cosponsors in the House. The Congressman hopes President Trump will support it, because of his campaign promises to “protect” Social Security.
“For years, beneficiaries have been telling us they are having a difficult time paying for basic needs like healthcare, housing and utilities,” says Richtman. “Retirees desperately need a boost to their Social Security benefits. Congressman Larson’s bill puts money in seniors’ pockets while also extending the program’s long term solvency.”
In order to keep the system solvent through the year 2100, the Larson bill would apply the Social Security payroll tax to wages above $400,000, which only would affect the top 0.4% of wage earners. (Currently, earnings above $127,200 are not subject to the payroll tax.) In addition, the legislation would gradually raise the overall payroll tax rate by 1% over 25 years – an increase of only 50 cents per week for a worker making $50,000 per year (or the price of one Starbucks coffee every nine weeks). These financing changes would not only keep Social Security solvent, they would allow for a modest 2% benefit increase for all beneficiaries --- and a tax break for 11 million seniors earning under $50,000 a year (or $100,000 for older married couples).
The Larson bill not only provides an increase in benefits, it would help retirees better keep up with inflation by linking cost of living adjustments (COLAs) to an index called the CPI-E (Consumer Price Index for the Elderly). The CPI-E takes into consideration what seniors really spend on crucial goods and services, including housing and medical costs.
“The Social Security 2100 Act is a win-win for beneficiaries and the entire country, because it protects the commitment to hard working Americans who pay into the system,” Richtman explains.
The National Committee, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization acts in the interests of its membership through advocacy, education, services, grassroots efforts and the leadership of the Board of Directors and professional staff. The work of the National Committee is directed toward developing better-informed citizens and voters.
Media Inquiries to:
Pamela Causey 202-216-8378/202-236-2123
Walter Gottlieb 202-216-8414