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
Today, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), a Chief Deputy Whip and Co-Chair of the Seniors Task Force, was joined by Reps. Donald Norcross (D-NJ) and Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) in reintroducing the Women’s Pension Protection Act. This bill, which was introduced in the Senate by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), takes necessary and important steps to ensure that women are better prepared for retirement. After the bill’s introduction, the lawmakers released the following statements:
Today, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky released the following statement on the introduction of Legislation that would severely cut Social Security benefits:
Today, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky released the following statement after the Social Security Administration announced a cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) for 2017 of 0.3%:
WASHINGTON, DC - Today, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky released thefollowing statement after the 2016 Social Security and Medicare Trustees reports were released:
Park Ridge, IL – Eighty years ago today, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Social Security into law. Rep. Jan Schakowsky will celebrate this special anniversary with seniors and advocates in Park Ridge, IL, where she will issue the following statement: