Senior Advocates Hopeful as Congress Elevates Cause of Expanding Social Security: New Caucuses Embrace Movement to Boost Earned Benefits

2018-09-12T13:34:27+00:00September 12th, 2018|Latest News, News Releases|

News Release

Wearing their trademark yellow t-shirts, senior volunteers from the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare’s Capitol Action Team will turn out to show their support for the launch of the House and Senate’s ‘Expand Social Security’ caucuses at 10:00 a.m. on September 13 in room 403 of the Dirksen Senate office building.  Cochaired by Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Representatives John Larson (D-CT), Conor Lamb (D-PA), Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), and Terri Sewell (D-AL), members of the new caucuses favor expanding, not cutting, Social Security while demanding the wealthiest pay their fair share.

“We applaud members of the House and Senate for advancing a cause we are 100% committed to the expansion of Social Security for the 62 million Americans who depend on the program for basic financial security.  In 2013, we launched our Boost Social Security Now campaign to advocate higher benefits and more accurate cost-of-living adjustments (among other improvements) for retirees and people with disabilities.  With almost half of retirees depending on Social Security for all or most of their income at a time of rising living expenses, boosting benefits is the only just and sustainable path forward,” says Max Richtman, President and CEO of the National Committee. 

The National Committee’s “Boost Social Security Now” campaign includes specific policy prescriptions for expanding the program, including:  lifting the cap on Social Security payroll contributions (currently set at $128,400 in annual income); increasing the basic benefit for current and future retirees; providing Social Security credits for family caregivers; and replacing the inadequate inflation index now used to calculate cost-of-living adjustments with the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E), which more accurately reflects seniors’ true expenses. These expansion measures stand in stark opposition to the conservative agenda to cut Social Security.

“The movement to expand Social Security is a bulwark against conservative attempts to slash benefits, raise the retirement age, and impose lower cost-of-living adjustments under the guise of ‘entitlement reform.’  The political right has renewed its attacks on Americans’ earned benefits in the wake of the Trump/GOP tax cuts, which have failed to trickle down to working people while blowing a $2 trillion hole in the federal debt,” says Richtman.

Expanding Social Security benefits is not only the right thing to do for beneficiaries struggling to make ends meet; it will enhance Social Security’s role in boosting the economy.  Social Security already provides more than $1.6 trillion in national economic stimulus every year.  Every dollar paid in benefits adds $2 to the economy.  Boosting Social Security benefits will infuse communities, states, and the entire country with billions of dollars in additional stimulus.  For more information, see the National Committee’s Social Security Snapshots, detailing the program’s economic impact in all 50 states and U.S. territories.

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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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