Social Security is a national treasure. Without its guaranteed, inflation-adjusted benefits, about half of seniors would be living in poverty. The average Social Security retirement benefit is modest – about $17,536 a year ($2,000 less for women) but 6 in 10 seniors rely on those benefits for a majority of their income and 1 in 3 for 90 percent of more. That is why I so strongly oppose proposals to cut benefits, change the formula to reduce annual cost-of-living adjustments, or raise the age of eligibility. Social Security doesn't contribute to today's or tomorrow's deficits – by law it cannot borrow – so benefits should not be cut to reduce them. Nor do we need to cut benefits to provide for the long-term (75 year) solvency of the Trust Fund, which has a $2.89 trillion surplus. Instead, I believe that we should scrap or significantly raise the wage cap. Today, 94% of Americans pay the FICA tax on 100% of their income, up to $132,000 in annual wages. Lifting the wage cap would affect only the top 6% of all wage earners but it would solve Social Security's long-term solvency gap and, with a few other modest changes, provide enough revenues to make benefit improvements.
Those improvements would allow us to recognize the work of those who take time out of the workforce to care for family members, provide benefits to students up to age 22, and provide a higher COLA that accounts for the higher costs facing seniors today.
More on Social Security
WASHINGTON— Today, Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ), and Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) reintroduced the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Restoration Act. Over 8 million Americans, all of them over the age of 65 or with significant disabilities, rely on SSI benefits to meet their basic needs. Currently, SSI benefits provide an average income that is below the poverty line. With the program being largely unchanged since its inception in 1972, the SSI Restoration Act makes critical updates to keep beneficiaries out of poverty.
WASHINGTON - Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, Senior Chief Deputy Whip, Chair of the Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee, and Co-Chair of the House Democratic Caucus Task Force on Aging and Families, released this statement after President Trump said he would mail seniors a one-time $200 prescription drug discount card, raiding the Medicare Trust Fund after failing to take any action to actually lower prescription drug prices:
EVANSTON, IL - Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, Senior Chief Deputy Whip and Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the House Democratic Caucus Task Force on Aging and Families, released the following statement on the 85th anniversary of Social Security, which was signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on August 14, 1935:
WASHINGTON – In response to President Trump’s executive action destabilizing Social Security and Medicare, the House Democratic Caucus Task Force on Aging & Families released the following statement:
“Americans are facing both a public health crisis and an economic one due to the coronavirus pandemic. It is nothing short of cruel that President Trump has chosen this moment to plunge Social Security and Medicare into chaos, along with the millions of children and older Americans who survive on these earned benefits.
WASHINGTON, DC - On Monday, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released guidance that contradicts provisions of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that explicitly gives the Department of the Treasury authority to provide direct assistance to Social Security beneficiaries, Supplemental Security Income recipients, and Veterans Administration pension holders who do not file taxes.