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Urge Sens. Murray, Cantwell to strengthen Social Security

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 2, 2014) — Over the past two decades, Americans have flatly rejected Republican-led efforts to cut Social Security benefits or to dismantle the system entirely by privatizing it. As pensions and retirement security evaporate for an entire generation of working families, the conversation has finally turned to an idea that was considered unthinkable until recently: strengthening the program.

The Strengthening Social Security Act (S. 567) would raise the monthly Social Security benefit by about $65 and would measure inflation not with the chained CPI (a benefit cut), but using a more accurate measure of inflation for seniors, the CPI-E, which would increase COLAs. The bill also would scrap the Social Security tax cap so the wealthiest people would pay the same rate the rest of us pay. Under this bill, Social Security would be able to pay out full benefits to the year 2049.

social-security-murray-cantwell-frontTAKE A STAND — Show your support for this idea by signing a petition urging U.S. Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell of Washington state to co-sponsor S.567.

Social Security should never have been part of any deficit reduction debate. But Republicans have injected the program into those debates because they want to cut it — even though Social Security adds nothing to the deficit.

Americans strongly support Social Security, overwhelmingly support raising or removing the tax cap that the wealthiest enjoy, and are even willing to pay more taxes themselves in order to preserve and even improve benefits, according to a survey by the nonpartisan National Academy of Social Insurance.

Nothing contributes more to keeping the middle class out of poverty than Social Security, says S. 567 sponsor Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa). The real solution to strengthen Social Security funding for the long term is to make sure the wealthy pay their fair share.

In recent years, the importance of Social Security has become greater than ever. America is facing a retirement security crisis. When Harkin first came to Congress in 1975, half of America’s workers had pensions. Now that figure is closer to 20%. Harkin said 52% of people have less than $10,000 in savings.

Urge Sens. Murray and Cantwell to co-sponsor S. 567. Sign the petition today!

AFL-CIO Now contributed to this report.

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