Statement on Gov. Martin O’Malley’s Social Security Plan

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Contacts: Lacy Crawford, lcrawford@www.socialsecurityworks.org

Statement on Gov. Martin O’Malley’s Social Security Plan

Washington, DC — The following is a statement from the President of Social Security Works:

“Governor Martin O’Malley, who is seeking to be the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, just released wise and thoughtful proposals, which effectively address the looming retirement income crisis, as well as a number of other challenges facing the nation.

“Too many working Americans fear that they may never be able to retire, because of the disappearance of traditional pension plans, the proven inadequacy of 401(k) plans, stagnant wages, and the loss of home equity. Social Security is the nation’s most universal, efficient, and secure source of retirement income, but its benefits are inadequate by virtually any measure. These earned Social Security benefits are all that stand between millions of Americans and their complete destitution. The vast majority of today’s seniors are barely getting by, with incomes at or just above the poverty line, just one health or other shock away from destitution. Without action, tomorrow’s seniors are likely to be even more vulnerable.

“Recognizing these stark realities, Governor O’Malley proposes to expand Social Security’s modest benefits, while also restoring the program to long-range actuarial balance. He proposes to increase the benefits of all current and future beneficiaries, which will help not only seniors, but also people with disabilities, children whose parents have died, and others. He also seeks to ensure that those who work hard for a lifetime do not retire into poverty. And he advocates that those who take time out of the workforce for the all-important job of caring for children and older frail relatives, receive credit towards their own retirement. To ensure that Social Security benefits do not erode over time as people age, he proposes to switch to a much more accurate cost of living measure.

“He proposes to pay for these expansions as well as Social Security’s currently projected shortfall, by requiring the wealthiest among us, those who have reaped such rewards from the nation’s productivity over the last few decades, to pay the same rate into Social Security on all their income that low and average-paid workers do. Governor O’Malley understands that one of the best ways to bolster Social Security’s funding is to employ workers in good-paying jobs. Therefore, he also proposes a long overdue increase in the minimum wage and comprehensive immigration reform.

“Governor O’Malley’s Social Security and related proposals underscore what a visionary, pragmatic, fiscally responsible, and compassionate leader he is. He understands that Social Security is a solution to our looming retirement income crisis, the financial squeeze confronting today’s working families, and the nation’s rising and dangerous income inequality.

“Social Security Works applauds Governor O’Malley as a true champion of Social Security. Because Social Security affects all of us, that makes him a champion of all Americans.”

-Nancy Altman, President of Social Security Works and co-author of Social Security Works! Why Social Security Isn’t Going Broke and How Expanding It Will Help Us All (The New Press, 2015).

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