Protecting Social Security
First developed in the 1930s as a cornerstone achievement of the New Deal, Social Security provides essential benefits to retired or disabled workers and their family members. The program has kept millions of Americans out of poverty and allowed countless more to maintain independent and financially secure lives during their retirement years.
As the baby boom generation reaches retirement, Social Security faces unprecedented, but manageable, challenges. It is not in crisis or beyond repair, as the Republicans have tried to scare younger workers into believing. Even on its current path, Social Security will be fully solvent through 2036, and even after that it will continue to be able to pay 80 percent of benefits.
Social Security does not contribute to the deficit, and the current debt challenges we face should not be leveraged to undermine one of our nation’s great safety net programs. I want to save and strengthen Social Security well into the future. I stand with the majority of the American public, which believes that Social Security needs a solid source of funding, not a plan that makes the problem worse by draining trillions of dollars from the Trust Fund and endangering the retirement benefits of millions of deserving Americans. It is vital that all seniors, people with disabilities, and their families have a benefit that they can count on.
A Basic Commitment to Preserve Benefits
At the very least, Social Security benefits should maintain their purchasing power over time. This ensures that beneficiaries can sustain a reasonable standard of living. With this in mind, I oppose proposals to minimize this program such as privatization, raising the retirement age, and benefit cuts, such as through switching to a “chained” CPI. These initiatives would endanger the financial security of millions at a time when this safety net is increasingly important.
The federal budget should reflect our priorities, and should take measures to strengthen, and extend the life of Social Security. Throughout the recent deficit reduction debates in Congress I have stood with my colleagues in the Congressional Progressive Caucus in leading the efforts to support and enhance our social security system, and will continue to do so as budget negotiations continue.
A Comprehensive Approach to Retirement
Many Americans are worried about retirement security – whether the combination of Social Security, their 401 (k) plan or pension, and their savings will be enough to live on. While I’m fighting to protect Social Security, I also believe the federal government should encourage and reward financially responsible behavior.
I will fight to ensure that all workers are paid the benefits they were promised. I am working to secure pension benefits, make it easier for everyone to save for retirement by enhancing and strengthening investment vehicles like 401(k)s and IRA plans, and to provide clear information on retirement investment options. Combining that approach with a secure and stable Social Security safety net will give American retirees greater certainty in the years to come.
Bill Name (i.e. HR 1776)
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