Senator Marco Rubio’s proposal to fund paid family leave by cutting participants’ future Social Security benefits is nothing less than a Trojan Horse to undermine Social Security – and lays the groundwork for further damage to the program. Social Security is not a piggy bank or ATM to be used for other programs, no matter how commendable.
“Our Social Security system is a foundation of economic security for workers and their families in the event of a worker’s retirement, disability or death. While we believe that expanding access to paid parental leave is important for all workers, we oppose legislation that would finance it by cutting future Social Security benefits,” said Max Richtman, president and CEO of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare.
Senator Rubio’s proposal would weaken Social Security’s long-term financial health. Caregivers taking their retirement benefits in advance as paid family leave may never be able to reimburse Social Security due to premature death or disability. Former Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin estimates that Senator Rubio’s program would cost Social Security $10.5 billion in the first year and $227 billion over ten years.
Social Security already helps millions of younger working-age families (approximately 16 million beneficiaries) through disability, dependents’ and survivors’ benefits. The truth is that this family leave proposal from Senator Rubio, an outspoken advocate of “entitlement reform” (code for cutting earned benefits), is – at its core – a benefit cut for future retirees and their families.
In a letter to the Senate Finance Social Security subcommittee, National Committee president Max Richtman implores Senators to reject Rubio’s proposal:
“Since the inception of the program, Americans have regarded their contributions to Social Security as sacrosanct and available only for Social Security. The National Committee believes it should stay that way, and therefore urges you to oppose any legislation that relies on Social Security as a means for financing a program of paid family leave.”
Read the full letter to the Senate committee here.
The National Committee, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization 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 and voters.
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