January 14, 2015
The Honorable Barack Obama
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear President Obama:
I am writing on behalf of the millions of members and supporters of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare to urge you to support the reallocation of part of the 6.2 percent Social Security tax rate from the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) Trust Fund to the Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Fund without the conditions imposed by H. Res. 5, the rules adopted on January 6 by the House of Representatives for the 114th Congress.
Subsection (q) of Section 3 of H. Res. 5 creates a point of order against legislation to reallocate funds from the Social Security OASI Trust Fund to the DI Trust Fund unless it is accompanied by benefit cuts or tax increases that improve the solvency of the combined trust funds. The Disability Trust Fund will run short of revenue to pay full benefits some time in 2016, potentially putting 11 million disability beneficiaries at risk. This provision would make it more difficult to simply rebalance the two funds as has been successfully done 11 times in the past (reallocations have been made in each direction between the two funds) – forcing payroll tax increases or much more likely Social Security benefit cuts.
It is hard to believe that there is any purpose to this unprecedented change to House rules other than to cut benefits for Americans who have worked hard all their lives, paid into Social Security and rely on their Social Security benefits, including Disability Insurance, in order to survive. This rules change has to be regarded as a sad chapter in the Congress’s long history of ensuring that Social Security can continue to meet the needs of the American people.
We applaud you for making middle-class mobility and economic equality one of your top priorities. Social Security helps to provide a lifetime of economic equality by insuring millions of Americans against the risks of retirement, disability and survivorship.
For that reason, the National Committee urges you to support the reallocation from the OASI Trust Fund to the DI Trust Fund and oppose the House majority’s demand to cut benefits in exchange for addressing the Disability Insurance program’s financing. Your State of the Union address would be an ideal opportunity to reaffirm your support for Social Security.
President and CEO