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Congressman Peter DeFazio

Representing the 4th District of OREGON

Social Security

Social Security continues to provide the majority of income to two-thirds of our nation’s retirees and provides financial security to millions of disabled workers and children.  While the average benefit is less than $15,000 a year, it is one of the most important tools to lift seniors and the disabled out of poverty.

Congressman DeFazio has consistently supported efforts to protect Social Security benefits for seniors and restore the long-term solvency of the program. DeFazio has long opposed privatizing Social Security which could divert Social Security revenues to risky Wall Street accounts. He is also opposed to raising the retirement age or reducing benefits.

The Social Security trust fund has paid every benefit check that has gone out, and it will continue to pay 100 percent of benefits through 2034. Under current law, if the Social Security trust fund runs short, it will only pay 75 percent of current benefits. Thus, if Congress does nothing to address a future shortfall, the program will automatically impose benefit cuts.

DeFazio has a plan to protect and preserve Social Security. He has introduced legislation each Congress to ensure that full Social Security benefits will be available to future generations, and help seniors adversely affected by a faulty cost of living formula.

CLOSE TAX LOOPHOLES FOR WEALTHY AMERICANS

DeFazio's plan would preserve the Social Security Trust Fund by closing a tax loophole so millionaires pay the same percentage of their salaries into Social Security as average American workers. Currently, 94 percent of Americans pay the Social Security tax on all of their income, while those who make more than $118,500 stop paying Social Security taxes once they reach the cap. His bill subjects all income to the same 6.2 percent Social Security tax rate that middle class wage earners must pay. According to the Social Security Actuary, this bill guarantees the Social Security Trust Fund will be solvent and pay full benefits until 2057.

A FAIR ANNUAL COLA FOR SOCIAL SECURITY

The Social Security cost of living adjustment (COLA) is calculated using an outdated formula based on the cost of consumer products like laptop computers and iPads, as opposed to consumer goods most often purchased by seniors like prescription drugs, housing, food, and other basics. Health care costs are going up at twice the rate of inflation and seniors suffer from those increased costs more than younger Americans. Using such a poorly designed formula defies all common sense.

To address this problem in the short-term, DeFazio would change the COLA formula to one that truly matches increases in their expenses.

SAFEGUARD SOCIAL SECURITY FROM 'RAIDS'

The Social Security Protection and Truth in Budgeting Act would safeguard Social Security from ever being "raided."

Social Security was created in the 1930s to ensure all Americans could retire with dignity; it wasn’t designed to hide federal deficits and serve as a credit card for the Treasury. Nevertheless, over the past 30 years the Treasury has borrowed $2.5 trillion from the Social Security Trust Fund. DeFazio's bill would prohibit this practice in the future and prohibit any other non-Social Security use of the Trust Fund.

More on Social Security

Feb 16, 2017 Press Release

Congressman Peter DeFazio and Senator Bernie Sanders today introduced joint legislation, the Social Security Expansion Act, to strengthen the Social Security program for future generations on the day that millionaires stop paying into Social Security.

Apr 23, 2015 Press Release

Washington, D.C. –Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) today introduced a pair of bills that would protect Social Security trust funds from being diverted to pay for other programs and preserve Social Security benefits for future generations.