After holding three public hearings on Social Security’s future, Congressman John Larson has taken his campaign to boost benefits on the road. The latest stop: Las Vegas, Nevada. Rep. Larson (D-CT) held a town hall yesterday at the city’s Doolittle Senior Center with Congressman Steve Horsford (D-NV), National Committee government relations and policy director Dan Adcock, and other advocates. Some 100 seniors gathered to listen and ask questions, just one day after the Social Security Trustees issued their annual report showing the program’s financial outlook improving since last year.
Congressman Larson seeks to build public support for this Social Security 2100 Act (cosponsored by Rep. Horsford), which would put the program on a sound financial footing for the rest of the century – while boosting benefits and providing retirees with tax relief.
The average Social Security retirement benefit in Nevada is $1,378 – or $16,500 per year, about $1,000 below the national average.
“So many Americans contribute to Social Security all their lives, yet so many of them retire into poverty. Most of them are women and the majority are women of color.” – Rep. John Larson, 4/23/19
“Social Security isn’t an ‘entitlement,’ as it’s often called. These are not government giveaways … This is something you’ve earned and deserve.” – Rep. Steve Horsford (D-NV), 4/23/19
Rep. Horsford related a personal story to help illustrate how crucial Social Security benefits are to older Americans with fixed incomes. As the Nevada Current reported, “When he was nine weeks old, his grandmother had a stroke that put her in a coma for six months and left her paralyzed on her left side.”
“Here is my mother, still a teenager… taking care of a sick mother and a baby. My grandmother needed round the clock care and was put into a nursing home to get the care she needed. Social Security Disability and Medicaid made that possible.” – Rep. Steve Horsford, 4/23/19
Dan Adcock says that the audience appeared to be overwhelmingly supportive of Congressman Larson’s bill, and suspicious of conservative ideas regarding Social Security’s future. Moderator Debra A. Toney of the Nevada Health Centers asked Adcock about proposals to raise the retirement age.
“Regardless of whether you live to 50 or 100, raising the retirement age is a benefit cut. Raising the retirement age also disproportionately affects workers with physically demanding jobs who cannot continue working and claim benefits early. We believe that raising the retirement age is a bad idea – and that it is unnecessary for extending the solvency of Social Security. That’s why we endorse the Social Security 2100 Act.” – Dan Adcock, National Committee legislative director
At the end of the town hall, Adcock presented Rep. Horsford with a pair of the National Committee’s signature red boxing gloves, signifying that the Congressman is a ‘Social Security champion.’ “These will help you in your fight for seniors in the U.S. Congress,” Adcock said.