The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Linda Benesch,


The Social Security Expansion Act is Wise Policy and Winning Politics

The following is a statement from Nancy Altman, President of Social Security Wo


The following is a statement from Nancy Altman, President of Social Security Works, endorsing the Social Security Expansion Act, which was introduced this morning by Senators Bernie Sanders (D-VT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Kamala Harris (D-CA) along with Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR):

"The Social Security Expansion Act is profoundly wise legislation that increases Social Security benefits for all current and future beneficiaries, as well as providing additional targeted benefit increases. These include ensuring that those who work a lifetime at low wages are not forced to retire into poverty. It also restores the program's benefits for students aged 19-22 whose working parents have died and become disabled, and are no longer there to support their higher education. Restoration of this benefit, which was wrongfully removed in 1981, will help to reduce the crushing student debt afflicting too many of our graduates.

Senator Sanders and Rep. DeFazio have appropriately chosen the day that millionaires stop paying into Social Security for the rest of the year to introduce their bill. The benefit increases in the Social Security Expansion Act are paid for entirely by requiring the wealthiest to pay their fair share into Social Security. It provides that they contribute the same percentage of their incomes to Social Security that minimum wage workers pay.

Expanding Social Security as this legislation does is a solution to our looming retirement income crisis and to growing inequality between the wealthy and everyone else, as well as to the financial squeeze confronting working families. Not only is expanding Social Security, financed by requiring the wealthy to pay their fair share, extremely wise policy, it is overwhelmingly supported by voters across the political spectrum. That makes it powerfully winning politics, as well."

Social Security Works' mission is to: Protect and improve the economic security of disadvantaged and at-risk populations; Safeguard the economic security of those dependent, now or in the future, on Social Security; and Maintain Social Security as a vehicle of social justice.