The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare — on behalf of its millions of members and supporters — applauds Congressman John Larson for introducing his Social Security 2100: A Sacred Trust Act today. His bill would take historic steps to expand Social Security — delivering for retirees, people with disabilities, and their families the first real boost in benefits in fifty years. The Sacred Trust Act also would bring new revenue into Social Security amid projections that the trust fund will run dry in 2034 if Congress doesn’t take action.
“To those who claim that no one in Washington has the courage to address Social Security’s challenges, or that the only solution is to cut benefits for future generations, Congressman Larson’s bill is a stunning refutation. Rep. Larson understands that Social Security beneficiaries need improved benefits to meet ever-growing living expenses, and that many seniors will fall into poverty without a boost in their monthly checks. He knows that the fairest way to strengthen Social Security’s finances is for the wealthy to begin paying their fair share of payroll contributions. For years, seniors and their advocates have demanded these improvements. Rep. Larson has admirably led the charge on Capitol Hill, and with this bill, he has delivered.” – Max Richtman, President and CEO, National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare
The Sacred Trust Act is the successor to Congressman Larson’s original Social Security 2100 Act, which he first introduced in 2014. The bill not only provides an across-the-board boost in benefits to all Social Security recipients for the first time since 1972, it includes targeted increases for the most vulnerable – including widows and widowers, low-wage workers, and the ‘oldest of the old.’ Just as crucially, Rep. Larson’s bill replaces the current COLA (cost-of-living adjustment) formula, which has failed to keep pace with retirees’ true expenses, with the more accurate CPI-E (Consumer Price Index for the Elderly). Though the 2022 COLA is a healthy 5.9%, the average for the past ten years is roughly 1.5% and in 3 of the past twelve years, beneficiaries received no COLA at all.
To pay for these improvements and forestall a projected shortfall in the Social Security trust fund in 2034, the Sacred Trust Act adjusts the wage cap so that earnings above $400,000 are subject to Social Security payroll taxes. This is a long-overdue correction for rising income inequality, where the percentage of wages subject to Social Security payroll taxes has shrunk over the past four decades. It also aligns with President Biden’s pledge not to raise taxes on anyone earning under $400,000 per year.
The Sacred Trust Act contains other provisions that seniors and their advocates have sought for years, including:
- Improving benefits for long-serving, low-wage workers;
- Restoring student benefits up to age 22;
- Repealing the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and Government Pension Offset (GPO) that penalize many public servants;
- Providing caregiver credits for time taken out of the workforce to care for children and other dependents;
- Providing a tax cut for middle-income beneficiaries.
“There is good news for everyone in this bill, which is only fitting, since Social Security touches almost every American’s life. Beneficiaries have waited long enough for these vital improvements. Congressman Larson now has nearly 200 cosponsors in the House. After seven long years, seniors and their advocates can finally see the finish line. It is time for the full House to pass Rep. Larson’s bill and send it on to the Senate.” – Max Richtman
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.
Media Inquiries to:
Pamela Causey 202-216-8378
Walter Gottlieb 202-276-9089