I can’t think of a better way to wrap-up this press conference than by standing here to represent the millions of members and supporters of the National Committee. Many members of Congress, present and past, appreciate our 35 years of activism including the more than 90 million petition signatures opposing benefit cuts and more recently, supporting benefits expansion, that we have collected and delivered to Congress over the last 3 decades.
The National Committee was founded by Congressman James Roosevelt, son of President Franklin Roosevelt, to preserve what he believed was his father’s greatest legacy, Social Security. As we are marking the day the millionaires are finished paying their Social Security payroll taxes, there’s an FDR quote that we often use which really fits this occasion:
“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much, it is whether we provide enough for those who have little.”
We are here today to say that for those who have so much, it is only right that they pay their fair share into the Social Security program. This was confirmed by Americans of all ages and political parties in our latest poll which we released yesterday.
79 percent of respondents, across party lines, support paying for an increase in benefits by having wealthy Americans pay the same rate into Social Security as everyone else.
That’s exactly what the “Social Security Expansion Act” does. By raising the cap on payroll taxes, the bill being introduced today by Bernie Sanders and Peter DeFazio, extends Social Security’s solvency while making needed benefit improvements affordable.
Unfortunately, our opponents are banking on their myth that the only way to “save” Social Security is by making unpopular benefit cuts. Some believe this myth because they don’t know that there is a cap on payroll taxes. They don’t know they pay the 6.2 percent payroll tax on all of their income while millionaires pay 0.7 percent or less. They don’t know that Social Security benefits can be strengthened rather than cut if the cap is lifted.
That’s why the National Committee will build public awareness about this common sense solution by supporting the Social Security Expansion Act. The National Committee applauds Senator Sanders and Congressman DeFazio for their vision and our millions of members from across the country stand ready to work with them to see this initiative become law.
Max Richtman, President and CEO of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, an advocacy organization representing millions of members and supporters, will mark the day that millionaires stop paying into Social Security for the rest of the calendar year at a news event on Capitol Hill Thursday. Since January, 2014, the National Committee has been advocating for raising the payroll tax wage cap to include higher income earners as an issue of fairness and to provide for a needed expansion of benefits. A just-released National Committee poll shows that 79% of likely voters want wealthy Americans to pay into Social Security at the same rate as everyone else, in order to fund an increase in benefits for all. Richtman will join members of Congress and other advocates speaking at the event.
Thursday, February 16, 2017
Dirksen Senate Office Building
The National Committee to Preserve Social Security & Medicare was founded in 1982 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s son, James Roosevelt. It is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization which 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.
Media Inquiries to:
Pamela Causey 202-216-8378/202-236-2123
Walter Gottlieb 202-216-8414