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Social Security News

Forget Talk About Cutting Social Security, New Campaign Wants Benefits Increased

National Committee wants to end Congressional efforts to reduce the program and put spot light on making it better

Feb. 10, 2014 - A new campaign to persuade Congress to increase the benefits provided by Social Security was launched last week by the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare. With most of the Congressional efforts in the last few years being aimed at reducing the cost of the program, it may seem, at first, to be at odds with public opinion. But, maybe not. There is considerable polling to show Americans do place great value on Social Security.

The "Boost Social Security Now" education campaign is to “inform and mobilize our membership, grassroots networks and on-line communities to convince Congress that now is the time to boost benefits, not cut them,” according to the news release introducing the effort.

The NCPSSM, also known as “The National Committee,” cited a study from 2013 to show the public’s support for expanding the entitlement program. The study found, “Large majorities of Americans, both Republicans and Democrats, agree on ways to strengthen Social Security - without cutting benefits. Fully 74% of Republicans and 88% of Democrats agree that ‘it is critical to preserve Social Security even if it means increasing Social Security taxes paid by working Americans’.” That study was funded by the National Academy of Social Insurance.

A study by Pew Research released last December also uncovered strong support for Social Security. It reported, “Majorities of Democrats (79%), independents (66%) and Republicans (62%) say it is more important to continue current spending levels for Social Security and Medicare than to take steps to reduce the budget deficit. (Pew Research, “In Deficit Debate, Public Resists Cuts in Entitlements and Aid to Poor,” Dec. 19, 2013

NCPSSM says it has been recognized for more than 30 years as one of the nation’s most “ardent and effective defenders” of America’s social insurance safety net.


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The organization pointed to an effort it made in 2012, which the news release said, “expanded its focus on Social Security. That campaign called for changing the COLA to better reflect the inflation costs for senior citizens and for an “across-the-board benefit increase.” It was, however, primarily aimed at making changes in Social Security to “modernize the program” to better represent women.

“Since that time, the call for expanded benefits has grown louder and includes support from within Congress including Senators Elizabeth Warren, Tom Harkin and Bernie Sanders, and Representatives Linda Sanchez and Gwen Moore,” the news release states.

“For years, Washington’s fiscal debate has been co-opted by the billion dollar austerity lobby and its single-minded quest to cut middle-class benefits in Social Security and Medicare to reduce the deficit,” according to Max Richtman, NCPSSM President/CEO.

“Their anti-Social Security mission ignores the cold hard economic realities facing millions of retirees, the disabled, widows and children.  That’s why the National Committee, on behalf of its millions of members and supporters nationwide, is saying enough is enough.  Now is the time to boost Social Security benefits, not cut them. It’s the right thing to do for our economy and America’s middle-class families and this is the right time to do it.”

The National Committee has endorsed nine different pieces of legislation that would enhance Social Security, including S. 567 and HR 3118 which it says, when fully phased in, would boost benefits by approximately $70 per month and adopt the more accurate consumer price index for the elderly (CPI-E).

As a fiscally responsible way to increase and strengthen Social Security finances we also support lifting the payroll tax cap,” the committee news release said.

“Today, Social Security’s average monthly benefit of just $1,269 is 90% of the total income for 46% of America’s retirees. 58 million Americans of all ages depend on the anti-poverty protection offered by Social Security.  Social Security will be even more important to future generations, especially the Recession Generation which faces income loss, diminished net worth, and high unemployment during their vital income earning years, all of which ultimately impacts their retirement. 

“Social Security’s positive economic impact shouldn’t be ignored. American families spend $775 billion in Social Security benefits nationwide each year, providing vital economic stimulus to local businesses and state economies they wouldn’t have without Social Security.

“The goal of our Boost Social Security Now campaign is straightforward: Congress should increase Social Security benefits now to protect the economic security of millions of American families.”

The National Committee say it is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that acts in the interests of its membership through advocacy, education, services, grassroots efforts and the leadership of the Board of Directors and professional staff.  The work of the National Committee is directed toward developing better-informed citizens and voters.

>> 5 Facts About Social Security: Pew Research


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