May 23, 2019
The Honorable Ted Deutsch
2447 Rayburn House Office Building
United States House of Representatives
Washington, D.C., 20515
The Honorable Mazie K. Hirono
713 Hart Senate Office Building
United States Senate
Washington, D.C., 20510
Dear Representative Deutsch and Senator Hirono:
On behalf of the millions of members and supporters of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, I write to endorse your bills, H.R. 2302 and S. 1132, the “Protecting and Preserving Social Security Act.” The National Committee commends you for introducing this important legislation, which strengthens the financial condition of the Social Security Trust Funds for many years and adopts the Consumer Price Index for Elderly Consumers (CPI-E) for the purpose of determining annual cost-of-living increases for Social Security beneficiaries.
The “Protecting and Preserving Social Security Act” addresses the lack of adequate COLAs for Social Security beneficiaries by requiring the use of the CPI-E, which more accurately measures the inflationary pressures faced by today’s seniors. Currently, Social Security benefits are adjusted by the Consumer Price Index for Urban Workers, or CPI-W; however, this index does not account for the higher rates of inflation experienced by seniors who must devote a larger share of their income to health care and energy costs, which have generally risen more rapidly in price than other consumer items. By adopting the CPI-E as the measure for calculating COLAs, the legislation assures that the purchasing power of Social Security benefits are more fully protected from the ravages of inflation.
The “Protecting and Preserving Social Security Act” also strengthens the financial condition of the Social Security program by lifting the cap on Social Security payroll taxes. Currently, there is a cap of $132,900 on the amount of a worker’s wages that are subject to Social Security payroll taxes. This legislation would gradually lift the cap and modify the benefit formula when determining benefits for high-wage earners, thereby preserving the earned-right nature of Social Security. It also strengthens the financial condition of the trust funds, enabling them to pay benefits for many years to come.
For these reasons, the National Committee proudly endorses the “Protecting and Preserving Social Security Act.” This legislation represents a bold step on behalf of seniors and all Americans, and we thank you for leadership on these vitally important matters. We look forward to working with you to enact this important legislation.
President and CEO