Boost Social Security Campaign Fast Facts
This campaign builds upon the growing public support for expanding Social Security. The Boost Social Security Now education campaign informs and mobilizes our membership, grassroots networks and on-line communities to convince Congress that now is the time to boost benefits, not cut them.
Large majorities of Americans, both Republicans and Democrats, agree on ways to strengthen Social Security — without cutting benefits. In a poll by Lake Research Partners, 79% of likely voters said they favor increasing Social Security benefits — and funding that increase by having wealthy Americans pay the same rate into Social Security as everyone else.
Rep. John Larson (D-CT) has introduced a major piece of legislation, Social Security 2100: A Sacred Trust, to boost benefits and strengthen the program’s finances. This bill has attracted hundreds of co-sponsors and the enthusiastic support of the National Committee and other advocacy groups.
We also endorse proposals to adopt a more accurate cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) formula for seniors (the CPI-E, or Consumer Price Index for the Elderly), along with proposals to modernize benefits, including caregiver credits for workers who take time off to care for family members, and to improve the basic benefit for all current and future beneficiaries.
Why We Should Boost Benefits Now
Social Security’s average monthly benefit of just $1,657 is slightly more than a monthly paycheck for a worker on federal minimum wage. Social Security benefits represent 90% of the total income of nearly half of America’s single retirees, and 22% of married couples. Over 65 million Americans of all ages depend on the anti-poverty protection offered by Social Security.
Social Security benefits are not keeping pace with the cost of living in America. The annual Social Security cost of living allowance for beneficiaries averaged just over 1.88% over the past ten years. In three of the past thirteen years the COLA was zero.
Growing income inequality and lack of employer-provided pensions will make Social Security even more crucial for future generations. According to a recent survey, one in four workers Americans have saved nothing for retirement, and 56% of Americans have $5,000 or less in savings.
Social Security’s positive economic impact shouldn’t be ignored. American families spend more than $1 trillion in Social Security benefits nationwide each year – providing economic stimulus to the national economy every year. This not only helps beneficiaries and their families, but all Americans.