Your social security is in danger. Things need to change
July 26, 2019
We are weeks away from the 84th anniversary of Social Security. Before President Roosevelt's monumental establishment of Social Security, more than half of older americans lived in poverty. Today, fewer than 11% fall below the poverty line. Social Security is in danger, and we need to ensure its solvency.
From my viewpoint, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle want to cut benefits once the trust fund becomes insolvent and raise the retirement age even higher. For one-third of beneficiaries, Social Security is 100 percent of their retirement, which is true in Oregon's 3rd Congressional District. Cutting benefits would have a drastic impact on hundreds of thousands of elderly Oregonians and millions across the country.
This week, the Ways and Means Committee held a hearing on Social Security 2100, key legislation that would expand benefits for all current and future Social Security recipients, cut taxes for millions of seniors, and ensure the system remains solvent for the rest of the century.
Currently, payroll taxes are capped at $132,000. Any amount of income above that has no amount taken out for Social Security. Congress is facilitating a system that gives a break to the highest earners and leaves moderate and low income Americans behind. The federal government needs to collect more payroll taxes on every dime of earned income so that people all across the income spectrum share in strengthening Social Security.
This legislation also improves the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), adjusting it to what elderly people actually buy, factoring in potential increased health care spending, and puts money back into local economies. Not only that, it's also the only proposal that ensures that Social Security remains solvent through the end of the century and adds nothing to the deficit. It's a common sense reform that is badly needed.
The current system fails to keep pace with the economy and the needs of older Americans. It is dangerous, hopelessly unfair and it penalizes not just our families and our communities, but our future. It needs to change.