Social Security Advocates Go on the Offensive
By Monique Morrissey
In March, the AFL-CIO issued a call-to-arms on Social Security, saying, “We have to stop playing defense, because we have nothing to be defensive about.”
Advocates have taken up the challenge, coalescing around a strategy centered on eliminating the cap on taxable earnings, raising the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) to reflect the higher out-of-pocket medical expenses faced by seniors, and increasing benefits across the board in ways that provide larger percentage increases for low-income beneficiaries. Building on a bill introduced in 2010 by Congressman Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) that included the first two of these measures, Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) made them the centerpiece of the retirement provisions in his Rebuild America Act. Continue reading
Social Security currently runs a healthy surplus, but a number of factors lead the program’s trustees to anticipate a modest shortfall over the next 75 years. The conventional wisdom is that the projected gap is driven largely by rising life expectancy, and that the key to restoring solvency is raising the normal retirement age, the age when participants are eligible for full retirement benefits. After all, if life has given us a bounty of extra years, shouldn’t our work ethic incline us to devote a little time to working longer? Continue reading
Many young people don’t think Social Security will be there for them when they retire. Coupled with the doubt about Social Security’s longevity is a general apathy toward learning its basic functions and how it operates. Young people are uninformed and therefore misinformed. They do not understand how Social Security works, who it affects, and how it fits into their future plans.
The Economic Policy Institute seeks to address the skepticism and lack of interest and understanding with this comprehensive guide to Social Security—written by young authors for young people.
Download the report