Posted on February 19, 2021
Social Security Works is Fighting to Protect and Expand Earned Benefits
At Social Security Works, our mission is to safeguard the economic security of all current and future Social Security beneficiaries. Since our founding in 2010, CREDO has been one of our closest partners in that fight. We are honored to be one of this month’s candidates for a CREDO grant.
We chair the Strengthen Social Security Coalition, a group of 350 national and state organizations. These groups include women’s, labor, aging, disability, veterans, civil rights, and many other stakeholders, representing over 50 million Americans. Over the past decade, we’ve worked with these groups and with grassroots activists around the country to transform the conversation around Social Security.
Back in 2010, DC was in the grip of austerity mania. Politicians and pundits spent their time debating how much we should cut Social Security and Medicare. Even many Democrats were open to cuts. But we fought back, defeating the benefit cutting Bowles-Simpson Commission.
That was only the beginning. With our country facing a retirement income crisis, not cutting Social Security’s modest benefits (which average only $18,000 a year) isn’t good enough — we need to increase them. At first, only a few Congressional champions, like Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and former Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) supported expanding Social Security benefits. But the movement grew quickly.By the end of President Barack Obama’s time in office, he had endorsed Social Security expansion. So did the 2016 Democratic Party platform. Rep. John Larson (D-CT), chair of the House Social Security Subcommittee, introduced the Social Security 2100 Act to expand Social Security and require the wealthy to pay into the system at the same rate as the rest of us. We’ve spent years working alongside Rep. Larson to build support for the bill, which is now co-sponsored by about 90 percent of House Democrats.
In 2019, Rep. Larson held a hearing on the bill in front of the full House Ways and Means Committee. Our President, Nancy Altman, testified.
The Democratic Party is united in support of expanding Social Security. Now that Democrats control Congress and the White House, it’s time to make it happen. During his presidential campaign, Joe Biden pledged “We’ve got to protect and expand Social Security — I’ll get it done as President.” We’re prepared to hold President Biden to that promise. We’re working with our allies in Congress, and with activists across the country, to build support for a strong Social Security expansion bill.
In addition to expanding benefits, Biden also needs to remove Donald Trump’s toxic appointees from the Social Security Administration (SSA) and replace them with public servants who support the program. Our petition calling on Biden to clean house at SSA has over 220,000 signatures — and it’s already beginning to deliver results.
Thanks to our steadfast allies at CREDO, you have the opportunity to power our fight to protect and expand Social Security. Cast a vote for the economic security of current and future generations by supporting us for this month’s CREDO grant.