Social Security

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.

Resources

 

JDS report, “A Healthy Future for America’s Seniors:  The Benefits of Obamacare

 

More on Social Security

June 27, 2014 Press Release

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.

October 16, 2012 Press Release

More than 56 million Social Security recipients will see monthly payments go up by 1.7 percent

 

Washington, D.C. (October 16, 2012) — Rep. Jan Schakowsky released the following statement after today's announcement of a 1.7 percent cost-of-living increase for 56 million Social Security recipients:

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