The Real Fix for Social Security

A Social Security Works email of July 24th provided information for this article.

While many in Washington are talking about cutting Social Security benefits, there are at least two Senators who are taking steps to increase benefits for seniors.

“Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Mark Begich (D-AK) have proposed legislation that would:

  • Increase cost of living adjustments (COLAs), not decrease them. Instead of cutting benefits through a Chained CPI formula, Senators Harkin and Begich have proposed using a benefit formula designed specifically to take into account seniors’ rising living expenses such as healthcare, food, and housing.
  • Ensure that the wealthy are paying their fair share into Social Security. Currently, Americans are only paying Social Security payroll taxes on their first $113,700. That means that many Wall Street workers would pay a far lower share of their earnings than most other workers. By lifting the payroll tax cap on Social Security, we can extend the life of Social Security for at least the next 75 years.
  • Increase Social Security benefits for all recipients by approximately $70 per month, or $800 a year. Senator Harkin’s bill would reform the benefit formula for all beneficiaries, but target those most in need. This would result in an across the board benefit increase, with the most going to those in the lower and middle classes.

“Social Security is the most successful anti-poverty program in our country’s history and has never contributed a single penny to the deficit. We now the right wing’s game plan is to try to force cuts to Social Security and Medicare as concessions in upcoming budget fights. It is time for us to strengthen, not cut Social Security, and the Harkin and Begich bills are our chance.”

You can sign the Social Security Works/Democracy for America petition calling on the U.S. Senate to support of these bills at

“Thanks to declining wages and the Great Recession, more than half of all American households can’t retain the same basic living standards in retirement that we know our grandparents and veterans deserve.

“Help Democracy for America and Social Security Works combat this growing retirement security crisis and tell Congress that Americans support expanding Social Security—not cutting it.” Please show your support today.