Today, Congressman Ted Deutch (FL-21) and Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) introduced the Protecting and Preserving Social Security Act, a bill to strengthen Social Security without privatizing the program, raising the retirement age, or decreasing already-meager cost of living adjustments. The legislation's reintroduction into the 113th Congress comes just weeks after a study by the nonpartisan National Academy of Social Insurance confirmed that the overwhelming majority of Republicans and Democrats not only oppose cutting Social Security, but support lifting the cap on contributions and improving benefits. The Protecting and Preserving Social Security Act gradually phases out the current cap on payroll taxes for high-income earners, extends the solvency of Social Security for generations to come, and improves benefits through cost of living adjustments that more accurately maintain their purchasing power.
"Our seniors deserve to have the certainty of knowing that the benefits they worked hard to earn will be there when they need them. And this bill isn't just about protecting our seniors it is also about common-sense long-term fiscal planning," said Senator Begich.
"The current debate over our federal deficit should not be used as an excuse to cut benefits or privatize Social Security, which operates off its own independent revenue stream and does not contribute to the federal deficit," said Congressman Ted Deutch. "Social Security is fundamentally sound, and with modest adjustments, the system can continue protecting all Americans from destitution resulting from old age, an unexpected disability, or the death of a breadwinner."
The introduction of the Protecting and Preserving Social Security Act was hailed by several outside organizations committed to protecting the hard-earned benefits of America's workers.
"Senator Begich's and Representative Deutch's legislation ensures that today's youngest workers can count on getting Social Security's vital but modest benefits when they retire. It also ensures Social Security continues to protect all workers and their families if they become disabled or die prematurely," said Nancy Altman, founding co-director of Social Security Works. "They restore Social Security to long range actuarial balance without cutting a penny of benefits and ensure benefits retain their purchasing power no matter how long a beneficiary lives. They achieve all of this by simply requiring the wealthiest among us to contribute to Social Security at the same rate as all other workers. This is the right policy and it is in accord with what the American people overwhelmingly want, according to poll after poll."
"The Alliance for Retired Americans strongly endorses the Protecting and Preserving Social Security Act. This vital bill not only protects and improves the benefits of seniors and the disabled, but also strengthens the long-term fiscal solvency of the program," said Ed Coyle, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans. "The proposal ensures long-term solvency by gradually lifting the cap on wages for high income earners. At the same time, the plan enhances benefits by applying a more accurate cost-of-living adjustment guaranteeing that seniors' benefits keep up with their daily needs."
"The Protecting and Preserving Social Security Act addresses inadequacies in Social Security benefits and also solidifies the program's financial future," wrote Max Richtman, President of the National Committee to Preserve and Protect Social Security and Medicare. "This bill would lift the cap and modify the benefit formula when determining benefits for high-wage earners, which is crucial to maintaining Social Security's "earned-right" tradition of increased benefits for increased contributions. For these reasons, the National Committee proudly endorses the Protecting and Preserving Social Security Act."