“On behalf of our members and supporters across the country, we thank President Biden for vowing in his State of the Union speech to defend seniors from harmful changes to their earned benefits. The union is only strong when Social Security and Medicare are strong. More than sixty million Americans depend on them for financial and health security. Unfortunately, the federal debt ceiling standoff has allowed some bad ideas for ‘reforming entitlements’ to percolate on Capitol Hill, most of which would slash retirees’ benefits.
Raising the eligibility age for Social Security or Medicare would be a huge benefit cut for all seniors. Switching to the ‘Chained CPI’ for calculating Social Security cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) is a benefit cut. Means testing benefits would have to reach deep into the middle class to significantly improve solvency. Putting the future of these programs in the hands of special committees would give lawmakers political cover for cutting benefits. Investing some of Social Security’s reserves on Wall Street would require massive benefit cuts and put the program on a slippery slope toward privatization. President Biden and most Democrats understand this; some members of Congress do not — or are unwilling to admit it.
Social Security and Medicare have become caught up in the debate over raising the debt ceiling. But Social Security and Medicare Part A are fully self-funded and do not contribute a penny in red ink. As none other than President Ronald Reagan said, ‘Social Security has nothing to do with the deficit.’
While both programs’ finances need shoring up for the future, these proposals would demand that future seniors bear the cost. But today’s workers are grappling with wealth inequality, mounting student debt, and the disappearance of employer-provided pensions. They will rely more on their earned benefits than their parents and grandparents do today.
Social Security and Medicare have provided financial and health security to generations of workers. If anything, benefits must be expanded, not cut, to meet the needs of future retirees. That’s doable by asking the wealthy to begin contributing their fair share. Americans are fortunate to have President Biden as an ally — and a firewall against ideas to undermine the programs they have paid into during their entire working lives.” – Max Richtman, President and CEO, National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare
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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