Center for American Progress

STATEMENT: CAP Responds to 2015 Social Security Trust Funds Report
Press Statement

STATEMENT: CAP Responds to 2015 Social Security Trust Funds Report

Washington, D.C. ­— Policy experts from the Center for American Progress issued the following reactions today about the 2015 annual report issued by trustees for Social Security.

Christian E. Weller, Center for American Progress Senior Fellow:

Today’s Social Security trustees report once again highlights the program’s strength in providing basic income guarantees to retired and disabled workers and their families, as well as to the survivors of deceased workers. Social Security can pay full benefits without any changes for close to two decades—even in 2034, it will have enough money to pay 79 percent of all promised benefits, declining to 73 percent in 2089, if Congress makes no changes to Social Security. But as wage stagnation and income inequality continue to eat away at families’ economic security, congressional calls to cut Social Security are both unnecessary and harmful to the millions of hardworking Americans who rightfully earned these benefits. Instead, Congress should consider strengthening benefits for particularly vulnerable families, while discussing ways to improve Social Security’s long-term financial outlook even further.

Rebecca Vallas, Director of Policy for the CAP Poverty to Prosperity Program:

Social Security Disability Insurance has been a core pillar of the nation’s Social Security system for 60 years, offering critical protection to nearly all American workers and their families in the event of a life-changing disability or illness. The program’s eligibility criteria are restrictive and payments are modest, but for those who receive benefits, it is nothing short of a lifeline, providing critical economic security when it is needed most. Rebalancing Social Security’s trust funds—through a temporary, modest reallocation of payroll taxes—or merging the two funds would ensure that Social Security is able to pay all promised benefits until 2034. Failure to do so would be nothing short of devastating to millions of workers with disabilities and their families and would erode Americans’ confidence in Social Security. The nation’s Social Security system is far too important to the American people to hold it hostage to congressional politicking.

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For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, contact Liz Bartolomeo at [email protected] or 202.481.8151.