Year after year, The Seniors Trust has been hard at work trying to convince lawmakers that the country needs them to expand Social Security benefits. The grassroots project is committed to ensuring passage of the Social Security Expansion Act. It would not only expand monthly Social Security benefits, but it will also establish a fair COLA (cost-of-living adjustment) and secure the long-term solvency of America’s Social Security program.
A recent opinion piece in MarketWatch by Social Security advocates and authors Nancy Altman and Eric Kingson supports our mission. They say that Social Security is overdue for an update, noting that it’s been more than 50 years since its last expansion. To support their belief, they wrote: “When President Franklin Roosevelt signed Social Security into law on Aug. 14, 1935, he described his landmark legislation as ‘a cornerstone in a structure which is being built but is by no means complete.’”
In alignment with The Seniors Trust, they are calling for a benefits increase because the current average monthly retirement benefit of $1548 is simply not enough money to live on. As support they offer research that shows that about half of today’s workforce will be unable to maintain their standard of living in retirement and about two-thirds will struggle once you factor in healthcare and other medical expenses. Seniors deserve a $65 a month benefits increase.
Among their many proposals on how to fund increased benefits, the Social Security experts agree with The Seniors Trust that government must lift the earnings cap on Social Security contributions. This would ensure that everyone pays their fair share and CEO’s pay the same rate as their workers. Currently, any income over $142,800 is not taxed, so an executive making $2 million is paying a much smaller portion of their income than their employees.
The authors contend that expanding Social Security is a matter of values, not economics, demographics, or politics. They claim “poll after poll reveals that, despite how polarized we are over many issues, we are not polarized about Social Security. Overwhelming majorities of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents do not want to see Social Security cut. We want it expanded.”
We at The Seniors Trust wholeheartedly agree. Our own surveys support these statistics. A full 100 percent of respondents say that Congress should pass the Social Security Expansion Act which expands benefits and protects the financial security of retired Americans. When asked about benefits alone, over 98 percent of those polled said they support efforts in Congress to expand Social Security benefits for all eligible senior citizens living in the United States.