Social Security champion McCormick praises Marianne Williamson’s plan

J​oe Biden, Lisa McCormick and Marianne Williamson

Marianne Williamson, the bestselling author and activist, who is expected to announce her intention to again seek the Democratic nomination for president on Saturday, has been praised by progressive Democratic activist Lisa McCormick for her plan to defend Social Security.

Nearly 65 million people rely on Social Security for guaranteed retirement, disability, and survivors’ benefits and McCormick has been recognized as a champion for protecting the system’s financial integrity without sacrificing working middle-class Americans or the benefits that have been promised to them.

“Americans earn these benefits with each paycheck during a lifetime of hard work,” said McCormick. “Social Security is independent from the federal budget and never adds anything to the national debt. During 2021, an estimated 179 million workers had earnings covered by Social Security and paid $981 billion in payroll taxes.”

McCormick, who earned four in 10 votes as the only Democrat with the courage to challenge incumbent Robert Menendez in New Jersey’s 2018 Democratic primary for US Senate, has previously criticized President Joe Biden and the liberal political establishment for ignoring the retirement system’s problems but she lambasted Republicans who would jeopardize the elderly by privatizing, weakening, or eliminating the program.

Social Security, which was signed into law by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1935, was created to provide security to individuals in their later years, and the program has worked well for generations to reduce poverty among seniors and the disabled.

Williamson has promised to make necessary changes to Social Security, resist all efforts to privatize it, and commence a national discussion on how best to go beyond Social Security and find new ways to provide holistic care for our growing elderly population.

Before she challenged US Senator Robert Menendez in New Jersey’s 2018 Democratic primary election, McCormick proposed a plan that would put Social Security on a solid financial foundation permanently, even making it possible to increase benefits and/or lower the retirement age.

McCormick said she expects the political establishment and corporate-controlled media outlets will try to obscure or obstruct Williamson’s candidacy, but he repeated her mantra that, “Americans must rise to the responsibility of citizenship!”

“Large majorities of Americans, both Republicans and Democrats, agree on ways to strengthen Social Security — without cutting benefits,” said McCormick. “Fully 74% of Republicans and 88% of Democrats agree that ‘it is critical to preserve Social Security even if it means increasing Social Security taxes paid by working Americans.’ Marianne Williamson’s approach resembles my plan, which makes her a candidate worthy of serious consideration.”

In 2019, Robert Reich, the distinguished economist who served under four presidents, endorsed McCormick’s plan to save Social Security and said it would ensure the long-term solvency of the nation’s pension system.

“I talked to Robert Reich about my plan to fix Social Security because there are a lot of misconceptions out there,” said McCormick. “While Republicans have been saying Social Security is ‘broke’ or ‘bankrupt’ the simple truth is, there are reserves of nearly $3 trillion sustaining Social Security and if all the money flowing into the system stopped, retirees could still collect full benefits for years to come. Social Security is not out of funding.”

“However, the system does need to be fixed in order to keep it solvent in perpetuity,” said McCormick. “Americans should never fear that this government will be unable to meet its obligations when they are depending on Social Security payments.”

“Hopefully it will be the beginning of a new trajectory in American history, when enough of us are willing to have a meaningful conversation about that what we need to put an end to and that which is now struggling to be born,” said Williamson, who is slated to launch her second presidential campaign on Saturday March 4.

“What needs to end is an era of corruption brought about by our second Gilded Age, an era in which corporate profits were placed before the safety, health and wellbeing of our people and planet,” said Williamson. “What needs to be born is an era in which we push back against such institutional abuse, return our government to a government ‘of the people, by the people, and for the people’ and replace soulless economic values with humanitarian values that honor us all and the earth on which we live. Other generations have done it. Now it’s our turn.”

“Americans work hard and pay in to Social Security, so we are counting on it to be there but if our leaders do not act, future retirees could lose up to $10,000 a year,” said McCormick.

“Social Security is funded through deductions to everyone’s paychecks. We pay in while we’re working, and then collect benefits when we retire or become disabled. But not everyone pays equally into the system,” said McCormick. “While 94% of American workers pay Social Security tax on every dollar in their paycheck, most of the earnings of the top 1 percent – and especially the top 0.1 percent – escape most Social Security taxes due to the program’s cap on taxable earnings, which is $160,200 in 2023.”

“In other words, the very richest Americans stop contributing but it does not have to be that way,” said McCormick. “By simply requiring upper-income Americans to pay the same tax rate as middle-class families, Social Security’s benefits could be expanded, and its funding would remain in balance for decades beyond the longest projections.”

“Americans are facing an unprecedented retirement security crisis. Retirement wealth has not grown fast enough to keep pace with an aging population and the growth in inequality has exacerbated existing economic, racial, ethnic and educational disparities,” said McCormick. “Single people and women face particular challenges. All these problems can be fixed by making the very richest members of society pay the same tax rate that ordinary working people pay now.”

Despite some Republicans’ claims to the contrary, many in the GOP do want to eviscerate Social Security and Medicare.

After President Biden’s State of the Union address, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, tried to distance his party from Sen. Rick Scott’s proposal to sunset—or force Congress to reauthorize—all federal government programs after five years, including Social Security and Medicare.

“Senate Republican Leader McConnell is trying to confuse us,” said Alliance for Retired Americans President Robert Roach, Jr. “He has been at the forefront of an effort to cut Social Security and Medicare for years. He would like us to forget, but retirees will make sure the American people have the facts.”

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