As progressive lawmakers renewed the call to protect Social Security from GOP attacks, Data for Progress on Monday pointed to polls showing that about 80% of US voters on partisan division favor increasing benefits.
“While the Democrats have a plan to protect and improve Social Security, Republicans have shared their plans to privatize, scrap, and even terminate this program!”
As a recent report from the Social Security Administration explains, “The Old Age, Survival, and Disability Insurance Program (OASDI) makes monthly income available to insured employees and their families upon retirement, death, or disability.”
The program traces back to the Social Security Act, signed into law on August 14, 1935, by then-US President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Celebrating its 87th anniversary on Sunday, the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) warned that the program is “under attack by Republicans” despite its popularity among voters.
Data for Progress highlighted Monday that 86% of voters surveyed in June said they were “very” or “somewhat” concerned that the US government will cut Social Security benefits for those who currently receive them.
In July, the progressive think tank found that 70% of all voters — including 76% of Independents, 71% of Republicans and 64% of Democrats — said they had heard “nothing at all” about the GOP’s proposals to extend the program. to destroy”. .
Data for Progress also found last month that 81% of all likely voters — including 88% of Democrats, 79% of Independents and 75% of Republicans — support legislation to increase Social Security benefits to match the cost of living.
“In addition, voters support the pay hefty introduced in new legislation that would increase Social Security solvency and pay for new, expanded benefits,” the group noted in a blog post. “We find that 76% of voters are in favor of levying payroll taxes on Americans who earn more than $400,000 annually, including 88% of Democrats, 76% of Independents, and 65% of Republicans.”
The July poll further found that 79% of all voters — including 89% of Democrats, 72% of Independents and 72% of Republicans — believe Congress “should vote to expand Social Security benefits now.” , though Democratic proposals only extend benefits for five years and would raise taxes for Americans earning more than $400,000 a year.”
While Democrats worry about losing control of Congress in November, the think tank pointed out that this year’s polls suggest candidates would do better in elections if voters knew they wanted to expand Social Security.
Carly Berke, the strategic partnerships coordinator at Data for Progress and co-author of the new blog post, tweeted that amid GOP attacks on Social Security, Democrats “must make it clear that they are fighting to protect and extend benefits. “
U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), the chairman of the CPC, and other members of Congress made that message clear at a Monday afternoon event hosted by Social Security Works.
jayapal insisted those who take advantage of the program to share their stories and put pressure on lawmakers to pass Social Security 2100: A Sacred Trust, legislation introduced by Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.).
“Social Security has provided our country with the most comprehensive retirement, disability and survivor benefits for 87 years,” Larson said in a statement. “Democrats are fighting to expand and protect it, but my Republican colleagues have plans to cut benefits and even end the program as a whole.”
“Congress has not acted in 50 years to increase benefits,” he noted. “The American people have made it clear that they want to protect the program they pay with every paycheck so they can retire with dignity. As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to hit our country and Republicans reveal their plans to cut benefits end, there is a great urgency to protect and improve Social Security now.”
Larson advocated his bill, saying that “In addition to commemorating 87 years of this program, Congress must approve Social Security 2100: A Sacred Trust to make much-needed improvements to benefits and ensure that this program helps our nation.” can be of service in the years to come. Congress must vote!”
Some progressive lawmakers, including Jayapal, also support the Social Security Expansion Act, legislation introduced in June by Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
“A lot has changed in 87 years, but Americans’ reliance on Social Security has not,” DeFazio said Monday. “My bill, the Social Security Expansion Act (SSEA) would increase monthly benefits and keep the program solvent until 2096.“