July 15, 2022
The Honorable Ted Deutch
2323 Rayburn House Office Building
United States House of Representatives
Washington, D.C., 20515
The Honorable Mazie K. Hirono
109 Hart Senate Office Building
United States Senate
Washington, D.C., 20510
Dear Representative Deutch 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 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 and ensuring the wealthy are paying their fair share. Currently, there is a cap of $147,000 on the amount of a worker’s wages that are subject to Social Security payroll taxes. This legislation would gradually eliminate the cap and modify the benefit formula when determining benefits for high-wage earners, thereby preserving the earned-right nature of Social Security. The additional revenue strengthens the financial condition of the trust funds, delaying their depletion date until 2052 and enabling them to pay full benefits for nearly an additional two decades.
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