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
Skokie, IL. – Rep. Jan Schakowsky delivered Meals on Wheels to Evanston and Skokie residents on Thursday and released the following statement on the experience:
CHICAGO – Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (IL-09) will joinSocial Security Works co-founders Nancy Altman and Eric Kingson for a discussion of the growing movement to expand Social Security.
America is on the brink of a retirement crisis that will affect the vast majority of today’s workers. Employer support and guaranteed retirement benefits can no longer be counted on, and Americans are forced, more and more, to depend on their own savings.
“I was a strong supporter and cosponsor of H.R. 647, the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2014. Unfortunately, when H.R. 647 was brought to the House floor, it added new provisions to fund its $2 billion, 10-year cost through provisions that I could not support – specifically, cuts in Medicare and Social Security. I was urged by organizations like AARP and physician groups like the AMA to reject this approach, and I agree with them that it is a dangerous precedent to set.
Chicago – Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Co-chair of the House Democratic Caucus Seniors Task Force, released the following statement on the 79th Anniversary of Social Security:
“Today we celebrate the 79th anniversary of Social Security, which provides benefits to 59 million Americans; including children, the disabled, surviving spouses and retirees. In all these years Social Security has never missed a check, providing needed benefits to families all across the country.”
Facts on Social Security
Washington, DC – Last Friday, Representatives Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) led 121 of their Congressional colleagues in sending a letter to Social Security Administration (SSA) Acting Administrator Carolyn W. Colvin, urging her to reconsider impending cutbacks that will severely restrict access to SSA services. Those cutbacks – ending in-person requests for copies of Social Security Numbers (known as Numi-lites) and/or verification statements from SSA offices – take effect in August and October of this year respectfully.