Social Security What's Buzzing

Americans united around Social Security

Written by Nancy Altman

These days, it can be hard to find issues upon which the overwhelming majority of people in the U.S. agree. But, the latest poll from Public Policy Polling shows that Americans are united around keeping Social Security strong. Regardless of race, gender, age or party lines, people want to increase Social Security benefits–not cut them–and have the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share.

Social Security benefits us all. It’s an intergenerational program that supports families. It helps ensure older adults, people with disabilities, and families where a breadwinner has died prematurely, have some financial security. In the process it allows their kids, grandkids, parents, and siblings to sleep better at night.

Who supports expanding Social Security?

  • 75 percent of men and 69 percent of women
  • 69 percent of whites, 82 percent of African-Americans, and 79 percent of Latinos
  • 70 percent of 18-29 year olds, 65 percent of 30-45 year olds, 76 percent of 46-65 year olds, and 70 percent of Americans over 65
  • 87 percent of Democrats, 73 percent of Independents, and 51 percent of Republicans

Presidential candidate Clinton and the Democratic leadership are fully aligned with the public, committed to expanding and not cutting Social Security. Now, it’s time for the full Congress to listen to the public and to unite around Social Security, expand benefits and require the wealthiest Americans to contribute their share into the Social Security Trust Funds.

Expanding Social Security is smart public policy. Social Security is a critical source of retirement security. Few Americans still have defined benefit pensions, and 401k plans do not measure up in terms up guaranteeing retirement security. Americans are struggling to save, with as many households nearing retirement with less than $14,500 in savings than those with more, way too little to replace job income. Not surprisingly, 60 percent of older adults depend on Social Security for the majority of their income, and 33 percent depend on Social Security for essentially all of their income.

In sharp contrast, presidential candidate Trump has never argued to expand Social Security, and he has flip-flopped in his commitment to not cutting it. Moreover, the Republican leadership, his Party’s leadership, have a longstanding commitment to cutting Social Security. If elected President, Trump will feel pressure to support his party on this issue. On this issue alone, Americans should elect Clinton.

To support expanding Social Security benefits, click here.  

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