Lisa McCormick excoriates Congress for its failure to protect Social Security

Lisa McCormick with Wilma Campbell, Alex Lospinoso and Sylvia Turnage

Progressive Democrat Lisa McCormick is lambasting Congress for its failure to protect the retirement security of millions of Americans six months after the Social Security Administration reported that trust funds will be depleted in ten years, reducing monthly payments to 77 percent of promised benefits.

“Despite warnings from the Social Security Administration from six months ago that trust funds are on track to be depleted within a decade, Congress has yet to take the necessary steps to address this looming crisis,” said McCormick, who made Social Security an issue as a candidate for US Senate in the 2018 Democratic primary election.

“On March 31, 2023, the Social Security Board of Trustees released its annual report on the financial status of the Social Security Trust Funds, painting a bleak picture of the program’s future,” said McCormick. “Six months of inaction has followed decades of putting off the safety and security of Americans who deserve the confidence that they will live in dignity during their twilight years. It has also seen unnecessary threats to the dollar, with right-wing extremists holding our nation’s creditworthiness hostage to insane demands, but the so-called voices of reason and responsibility have dropped the ball on this as well.”

That report revealed that the asset reserves of the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) Trust Fund are projected to be depleted in 2033, one year earlier than projected in the previous yearly report, and only 77 percent of benefits would be payable at that time.

McCormick, a staunch advocate for progressive policies, believes that this inaction by Congress is a grave disservice to the hardworking citizens who have paid into the Social Security system for decades with the expectation of a secure retirement.

Progressive New Jersey Democrat Lisa McCormick
Progressive New Jersey Democrat Lisa McCormick

McCormick said that immediate action is necessary to safeguard the retirement futures of countless Americans.

“Six months ago, the Social Security Administration sounded an alarm, warning us that the trust funds supporting the retirement of our senior citizens are at risk,” said McCormick. “It is unconscionable that, in the face of this clear and present danger, Congress has yet to enact legislation to protect our retirees.”

McCormick has been a vocal proponent of “scrapping the cap” on taxable earnings, a move that would require very wealthy Americans to contribute to Social Security at the same tax rate as the rest of the population.

“The way to fix this problem is by eliminating the cap on taxable income. This action alone would put Social Security on a solid financial foundation, ensuring that benefits remain secure, even if they are increased or the retirement age is lowered,” said McCormick. “If we ‘scrap the cap’ very wealthy Americans would contribute to Social Security at the same tax rate as the rest of us and the system would again be financially stable.”

“While 94 percent of U.S. workers shell out payroll taxes on every dollar in their paycheck, the very richest Americans avoid contributions to Social Security on most of their money due to the program’s cap on taxable earnings,” said McCormick.

McCormick’s unwavering commitment to securing the retirement future of millions of Americans serves as a beacon of hope in these uncertain times.

“Americans should never fear that their government will be unable to meet its obligations when they are depending on Social Security payments,” 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.”

“Americans work hard and pay into 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.”

McCormick challenged Congress to take immediate action to protect the hard-earned retirement benefits of millions and to fulfill its duty to the citizens it serves.

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