National Committee president and CEO Max Richtman sent the following letter to the editor of the Wall Street Journal in response to an article, “Social Security Expansion Under Consideration Would Boost Payroll Taxes” (9/11/19):
The Journal article on Rep. John Larson’s legislation to strengthen Social Security benefits is lacking some crucial context.
Social Security payroll taxes have been raised multiple times since the program’s creation in 1935. Rep. Larson’s proposed 1.2% increase in employee contributions over 24 years would be one of the smallest payroll tax adjustments in Social Security’s history. And, as Rep. Larson reminds us, for what other “tax” do workers receive retirement, disability, spousal, and survivor insurance?
The alternative to Rep. Larson’s approach, espoused by many conservatives, is to cut benefits. But public opinion is squarely on Rep. Larson’s side. In a recent Pew Research poll, nearly 75% of adults oppose any reductions in benefits, including majorities of Republicans and Democrats.
American workers realize that with pensions vanishing, saving for retirement becoming increasingly difficult, and seniors’ living expenses soaring, they will depend on every penny of their Social Security benefits to stay financially afloat in old age.