Social Security

Social Security has stood the test of time, and for millions of seniors is the only thing left standing during their retirement years. With barely half of American workers receiving a retirement plan through their jobs, stagnating wages, and a slow economic recovery, many working families have been unable to save for retirement. We have a duty to uphold our promise to workers who have paid into the program their entire adult lives by ensuring that they receive every penny of their Social Security benefits.

By the numbers:

  • 90 percent of people over the age of 65 receive Social Security benefits.
  • In Arizona, Social Security benefit levels average around $15,000 a year for retirees.
  • Six in 10 seniors rely on Social Security for more than half of their income.
  • A third of retirees have little more than Social Security on which to live.

Social Security does not contribute a penny to the deficit and is legally prohibited from doing so. I will not support any attempts to privatize Social Security, which risks the retirement security of millions of Americans by subjecting them to an unpredictable stock market. Further, diverting money from trust funds into private accounts would be extremely costly and could cause benefits to be scaled back. Maintaining a strong social security program is especially critical to millions of American women, who continue to face unjustified pay gaps. Consequently, women on average, are less likely to have retirement savings and disproportionately rely on their Social Security benefits as a main source of income.

Strengthening Social Security
Since I was first elected to Congress in 2002, I have supported efforts to strengthen the solvency of the program and expand the meager benefits. In particular, I support legislation to strengthen Social Security solvency while improving benefits by fixing the outdated cost of living adjustment (COLA) formula so that benefits keep pace with actual costs seniors are facing. I support legislation to close the payroll tax loophole and ensure that every American pays their fair share into Social Security. Ninety-four percent of Americans pay Social Security tax on all of their income, yet the wealthiest six percent, who have an annual income greater than $128,400, don’t pay taxes on income above that amount.  It’s not fair that the highest-income earners among us pay a lower rate than the rest of us. Closing this loophole for the wealthy will ensure that Social Security remains solvent and able to pay full benefits for at least the next 50 years.

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