AMAC in the Media

AMAC Action Weekly Advocacy Update: Social Security Corner

Posted on Thursday, June 1, 2023
AMAC Action

Social Security Corner

Seniors on fixed incomes regularly face money-saving challenges. Social Security is a lifeline for most, but those benefits replace just about 40% of pre-retirement income. So, a secure retirement must have other sources of income. But the Social Security program itself faces its own challenges, as it is headed for insolvency in less than a decade.

Social Security – The Problem

The challenge can be summarized simply as this: people are living nearly 20 years longer than when Social Security was enacted in 1935, and families are having fewer children. It’s a double whammy. Fewer workers are paying into the system, and people are collecting benefits longer-much longer than ever expected. Without reform by Congress, in 2033 benefits will be cut across the board by 23% for all receiving them. No vote. It will be automatic. That is because benefits can only be paid commensurate with income coming in and past reserves (surpluses). Reserves are being expended now to keep beneficiaries whole, but they will be depleted in about ten years.

Social Security – Solutions

Saving Social Security has usually come down to three choices, none of which are popular: raise taxes, cut benefits, and/or raise the retirement age. It’s important to note, however, that “doing nothing” is simply not an option. Any politician who says “Leave Social Security alone” or “I support no changes to Social Security” is effectively endorsing the 23% cuts for all. Interestingly, that is the current view of both President Biden and former President Trump. They’re falsely holding on to a very outdated narrative that “Social Security is the third rail in politics. Touch it, and you die.”

Facing Down the Challenge

Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Sen. Angus King (I-ME) are two of just a handful of members of Congress working to find a bipartisan solution. Cassidy says, “Allowing the cuts should be the third rail.” Former vice-president Mike Pence, a likely 2024 presidential candidate, routinely invokes his three granddaughters when talking about the need to make changes to entitlements like Social Security. On the current field of candidates, Pence says, “They’re saying, we’re not even gonna talk about it. But I can’t look those little granddaughters in the eye and do that. I can’t say that this is your problem and not ours. I can’t leave them with those hard choices.”

AMAC Offers a Solution to the Challenge

AMAC first released its Social Security Guarantee in 2013. It was updated in 2023 to reflect the reality of insolvency in a decade. In short, AMAC proposes a blend of ideas to preserve and modernize Social Security without the need for tax increases. First, the plan gradually raises the full retirement age from 67 to 70 while keeping early retirement at 62. Second, it adjusts where income taxes kick in on benefits, something never done when taxes were first implemented in 1983. Third, it eliminates the earnings test for those between 62 and 67, thus allowing people to work and earn as much as they want without benefit reductions. Fourth, a new same dollar amount COLA would be implemented using the average Social Security benefit. Fifth, it slightly modifies the formula for the highest beneficiaries. Sixth, the plan enhances widow’s and widower’s benefits.

A Balanced Approach to the Challenge

AMAC’s plan is a thoughtful, well-researched, and balanced approach to a challenge that lawmakers have known about for decades but have failed to address. Time is running out. Learn more about the plan here. You can also listen to a short podcast of the problem and solution made collaboratively between The AMAC Foundation and AMAC Action here.

Legislation & Policy Support

  • H.R. 244Medicare Hearing Aid Coverage Act of 2023

A good use of funds, this bill opens the way for Medicare to assist seniors with acquiring hearing aids, and the health exams needed to support that acquisition, to reduce other health-related maladies for which poor hearing is a risk factor.

  • H.R. 2986Helping Everyone Access Long-Term Healthcare (HEALTH) Act

Free2Care, a coalition of 34 physician and patient organizations encompassing 70,000 doctors and 8 million members, views the HEALTH Act as strengthening the safety net for a vulnerable segment of society. Click here to see the bill.

Quote of the Week

“We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.”

― Winston S. Churchill

May 2023 By the Numbers

AMAC Army of Advocates: 353,357

10 Calls-to-Action

14 Chapter Meetings

3 All-State Chapter Meetings:

Michigan on 05/09/2023

California on 05/10/2023

Florida on 05/17/2023

48 Political Inquiries Answered by AMAC Action Staff

If you’d like to become a volunteer AMAC Action advocate, please contact us at (855) 809-6976 or [email protected].

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