Quick quiz: how much money does Social Security have in the trust fund? And how much money is diverted each year from the federal budget to fund Social Security? And one more, for good measure: how many times has Social Security missed a payment?
The Social Security trust fund has a $2.8 trillion surplus in 2013, which is enough to continue paying out full benefits until 2033. Social Security is a remarkably strong program, and modest changes to the revenue collected could increase the solvency of Social Security for another half century.
Social Security doesn’t add a dime to the federal deficit. By law, it can’t: Social Security is required to pay for itself, and it has since its inception. Social Security has never missed a payment, and provides benefits to nearly 57 million Americans each month. In addition to retirees, Social Security also pays disability and survivors’ benefits. For small business owners for whom there are no corporate pensions, Social Security is the retirement program that makes their contribution to the local economy possible.
Social Security has never missed a payment. Any list of the most consistent government programs has to include Social Security.
One of the biggest challenges to protecting and strengthening Social Security is the media’s irresponsible reporting on the program. They often ignore the facts of the program’s solvency in favor of a more sensational story. It’s clear that MPA members need to take this conversation to their neighbors and make sure the truth about Social Security is told. That’s where our new “Grassroots Ambassadors” come in!
MPA’s team of Grassroots Ambassadors will be conducting presentations across the state of Maine to help educate the public about Social Security and expose the so-called “Fix the Debt” group for the CEO lobbying firm it is. Masquerading as a bipartisan effort to lower the nation’s deficit, Fix the Debt feeds the hysteria about the nation’s debt while proposing changes to the tax code and Social Security benefits that would create a windfall for corporations while simultaneously whittling away at Americans’ retirement security. In the words of MPA’s friends at National People’s Action: “that ain’t right!”
Talking to Mainers at places of worship, community centers, schools and local clubs will also give Ambassadors a chance to educate others on the importance of allowing Medicare to negotiate the cost of prescription drugs. Senator Angus King and Rep. Chellie Pingree are co-sponsors of the Senate and House versions, respectively, of a bill that would allow Medicare to save millions of dollars while lowering the cost of prescription drugs for seniors. Cutting back on PHARMA’s profits is a far better way to protect retirement security than letting the foxes at Fix the Debt mind the coop!
If you know of a place that’s ripe for a Grassroots Ambassador to come make a presentation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to get connected to the team nearest you.