Thanks to Social Security, when it comes to our retirement security, or a disability, or the loss of a loved one, we’re not on our own. We’re all in it together. Last week’s Social Security Trustees report confirms Social Security’s strength.
The Trustees’ report projects that Social Security will be able to pay 100% of benefits owed through 2034, and 77% of benefits owed after that. Today, the typical retiree receives $1,363 in monthly benefits, and the typical retiree couple receives $2,262. Disabled workers receive $1,171 on average and $1,802 if the disabled worker has a child or children. Wealthier recipients pay taxes on this income, accounting for 3 percent of the Social Security Trust Fund’s reserves.
If Congress lifted the cap on Social Security contributions so that wealthy Americans contributed the same share of their income to the program as everyone else, Social Security benefits could be larger. And, Social Security would have all the money it needs to pay full benefits for the next several decades.
This year, Social Security will run a surplus of roughly $58.6 billion. All in, Social Security’s surplus will be $2.9 trillion by the end of the year. Unlike private savings plans, interest on reserves contribute to the Social Security Trust Fund, and, at 9 percent, the contribution is significant. And, Social Security spends less than 1 percent of its budget on administration, making it extremely efficient.
Poll after poll shows that Democrats, Republicans and independents alike overwhelmingly support Social Security. And, the 2016 Democratic Party Platform included expanding the program.
“We will fight every effort to cut, privatize, or weaken Social Security, including attempts to raise the retirement age, diminish benefits by cutting cost-of-living adjustments, or reducing earned benefits. Democrats will expand Social Security.”
Since 2015, the Democratic Party has introduced 20 Social Security expansion bills in the House and Senate. This year, Rep. John Larson of Connecticut introduced the Social Security 2100 Act, and it has 162 cosponsors in the House―the largest number of supporters for any expansion bill ever.
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