|Targeted News Service|
On Wednesday, U.S. Sen.
The hearing also examined the rapidly changing demographics within
Because of a lack of savings and other factors, more seniors depend exclusively on
Those testifying at the hearing include:
Brown is a lead cosponsor of the Strengthening Social Security Act of 2013, legislation that would increase benefits for seniors and extend the solvency of the
Brown's remarks, as prepared for delivery, follow:
Senator Brown Opening Remarks for Finance Subcommittee Hearing "Strengthening Social Security to Meet the Needs of Tomorrow's Retirees"
Today, it is woven into the fabric of our country. A few years ago, the idea that we would expand
Today, not only are cuts to
Today's hearing is to consider whether
Over the last few years, we have fallen into a bad habit of allowing the debate around
This is not the correct approach.
Second, and more importantly, we should not be raising
Let me repeat that -
It's a plan that offers working families a modest bundle of insurance products: retirement, life, and disability insurance at reasonable rates.
For the bottom two quintiles of Americans over 65,
Wages have stagnated, leaving folks struggling to make ends meet, let alone put aside for retirement.
Defined benefit plans have declined, and only half of workers have access to an employer sponsored retirement plan.
It lifts 22 million people out of poverty, including 15 million seniors, nine million women, and one million children.
That is how critical these social insurance programs are for American workers.
This isn't just a moral issue. It's an economic issue.
Let's keep in mind that
At the same time, the program is highly efficient, with less than one percent of revenue being used for administration. Bipartisan legislation in 1983 and 1993 placed the program's finances on a predictable path.
This tradition of common sense, bipartisan action should continue as we reallocate the disability trust fund - a simple process that
Reallocation is not controversial. Twenty years ago, the
Simple reallocation can be done without increasing taxes or decreasing benefits, and it will result in the program being solvent for the next two decades.
We all know the financing options that will make
We have only to find the courage to act.
Current law has baked a series of cuts into
Americans who work construction or who work all day on their feet in diners or in steel mills cannot work until they are 70 and they cannot retire with dignity without the savings to do so.
Americans who have worked hard all their lives are seeing their prescription bills increase. They cannot afford a tax increase or an unrealistic cost-of-living adjustment.
That's why we must consider proposals to expand
These proposals include a bill Chairman Harkin and I have introduced to change the benefit formula, particularly for low-income workers and update the COLA to reflect the true cost of living for seniors.
We will also discuss proposals to increase survivors' benefits. We know that for so many low-income families,
We will also discuss proposals to increase the benefits for our most vulnerable populations. We can do this by updating the SSI program, which has not been updated or indexed since its inception in 1972.
We will examine proposals to provide caregiver credits to workers who support children or parents.
When children must leave the workforce to care for their aging parents, that represents real work. Those caregivers also deserve a modest, but dignified retirement.
Finally, we will talk about ways to use
I will stop there and yield to my fellow Eagle Scout, Ranking Member Toomey.
He has been a gracious partner in putting together these hearings, and I look forward to working with him on these issues.
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