Building on Social Security

Dignified Retirement Committee report

By John Keevert

The 2013 Social Security Trustees report shows a large and growing surplus. While conservatives still push austerity and benefit cuts to prove that government can’t do anything right, with your efforts we convinced President Obama that the benefit-cutting “chained CPI” should not be included in his 2015 budget proposal.

Even more hopeful, there are actually seven bills that have been introduced to raise Social Security benefits, which have slipped in buying power since introduction. Having enough for retirement is a serious concern for Americans, shown in a 2013 Gallup poll which found that 61 percent of Americans were very or moderately worried about “not having enough money for retirement.” Americans expect the government to do something about it, with 89% agreeing in 2013 that “the retirement system in this country is under stress and needs to be reformed.”

Currently, we support the bill introduced by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), the Strengthening Social Security Act, S. 567 (with H.R. 3118 companion bill) which would increase benefits across the board by asking millionaires to pay the same rate that average Americans pay into the program. This bill also includes the adoption of the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E), a formula that reflects the higher inflation experienced by seniors.

We have visited staff of Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, and while both say they oppose cuts to Social Security, neither has come forward to sign on to the Harkin bill. Please consider writing or emailing them to say it is time to get onboard and support expanded Social Security benefits, which would help reduce the staggering income inequality in the US.

If you would like to become more involved in the Metro Justice Dignified Retirement Campaign Committee, please email [email protected] for more information.


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