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Idea of the Day: Social Security and Communities of Color

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idea light bulbSocial Security is the bedrock of American families’ economic security, offering them a guarantee of a basic universal retirement income as long as they live. Social Security Disability Insurance fills part of the income void when workers become disabled and must continue to pay their bills even though they cannot work. Similarly, Social Security covers part of a household’s living expenses when its primary breadwinner dies prematurely. This gives families tremendous peace of mind when their primary income source disappears.

Social Security will pay promised benefits for decades to come, but it faces a long-term financial challenge: By 2033, promised benefit payments are expected to exceed Social Security’s income from payroll taxes and from its trust funds. Thankfully, there are solutions to combat this shortfall.

One approach is to raise the living standards of working-age families in communities of color. Shrinking racial and ethnic gaps in economic and health outcomes can ultimately improve Social Security’s long-term finances and increase the economic security of both struggling communities of color and middle-class non-Hispanic whites. This efficiently achieves multiple policy goals at once, creating a win-win situation.

For more on this idea, please see:

To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:

Print: Allison Preiss (economy, education, poverty)
202.478.6331 or apreiss@americanprogress.org

Print: Tom Caiazza (foreign policy, health care, energy and environment, LGBT issues, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7141 or tcaiazza@americanprogress.org

Print: Chelsea Kiene (women's issues, Legal Progress, Half in Ten Education Fund)
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Tanya Arditi
202.741.6258 or tarditi@americanprogress.org

TV: Rachel Rosen
202.483.2675 or rrosen@americanprogress.org

Radio: Chelsea Kiene
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org

 

This is part of a regular column: Idea of the Day

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