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Forget GOP Fear Campaigns, Says Group Advocating Social Security Expansion

Expand Social Security

This article was originally published here

The just-released 2023 Annual Report of the Board of Trustees of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Federal Disability Insurance Trust Funds shows that the Social Security system remains strong and fully affordable.

This year’s report announces that Social Security has an accumulated surplus of approximately $2.8 trillion. It projects that, even if Congress took no action whatsoever, Social Security can pay all benefits and associated administrative costs until 2034. It is 89 percent funded for the next quarter century, 83 percent for the next half century, and 80 percent for the next three quarters of a century.

At the end of the century, in 2100, Social Security is projected to cost around sixpercent of gross domestic product. That end-of-the-century cost is a substantially smaller percentage than most other wealthy countries spend on their counterpart programs today.

Social Security Works has released a fact sheet that puts the report into further context, including the context of the ongoing fight over raising the debt ceiling.

The following is a statement on the report from Nancy Altman, President of Social Security Works:

“The takeaway from this report is that whether to expand or cut Social Security’s modest but vital benefits is a question of values, not affordability.

Congressional Democrats have proposed several plans that expand benefits. These plans are fully paid for by requiring millionaires and billionaires to contribute their fair share.

These proposals are bipartisan in the way that matters — they have strong support from Democratic, Republican, and independent voters. In contrast, 88 percent of voters oppose cutting benefits. While some political elites still cling to the idea of a so-called “balanced” package that includes benefit cuts, such a plan will not succeed because it is toxically unpopular among the American people.

Unfortunately, Republican politicians are not listening to their voters. The most recent budget of the Republican Study Committee, which consists of about three quarters of the House Republicans, includes deep cuts to both Social Security and Medicare. Other Republicans are trying to create fast-track commissions that operate behind closed doors, aimed at forcing cuts that would not be supported in the sunshine.

To see the results of cutting earned retirement benefits through an undemocratic process, one only needs to look across the Atlantic Ocean, where the French people are rising up in anger.

Congress should take action to expand Social Security and close the system’s modest shortfall. Democrats have put their ideas on the table. Now, Republicans should do the same, so that Congress can debate Social Security’s future in the light of day.”

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