Statement on 2017 Social Security Trustees Report: Just-Released Report Confirms that Expanding Social Security is Fully Affordable

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Contacts: Ebonie Williams, 202-709-6045ewilliams@socialsecurityworks.org

Statement on 2017 Social Security Trustees Report: Just-Released Report Confirms that Expanding Social Security is Fully Affordable

(Washington, DC) — Social Security has a large and growing surplus, according to the 2017 Annual Report of the Board of Trustees of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Federal Disability Insurance Trust Funds, released today. This year’s report projects that in 2017 Social Security will run an annual surplus of roughly $58.6 billion, bringing the accumulated surplus to about roughly $2.9 trillion by the end of the year. It projects that, even if Congress took no action whatsoever, there is sufficient revenue to pay for all benefits and associated administrative costs until 2034, and 77 percent of those costs thereafter. It once again shows that Social Security is fully affordable. At its most expensive, in 2095, Social Security is projected to cost just 6.17 percent of gross domestic product (“GDP”).

The following is a statement from the President of Social Security Works and the Chair of the Strengthen Social Security Coalition:

The 2017 Trustees Report shows that the current program is fully affordable.  Indeed, the United States can fully afford an expanded Social Security. Poll after poll shows that the American people overwhelmingly support expanding the program’s benefits. Increasingly, our nation’s political leaders are listening.

The Democratic Party strongly favors expanding, not cutting Social Security. The 2016 Democratic Platform states:

We will fight every effort to cut, privatize, or weaken Social Security, including attempts to raise the retirement age, diminish benefits by cutting cost-of-living adjustments, or reducing earned benefits. Democrats will expand Social Security

Consistent with that pledge, nearly 20 Social Security expansion bills have been introduced in the House and Senate just since 2015. Recently, the Social Security 2100 Act, introduced by Rep. John Larson (D-CT-01), has 162 cosponsors in the House of Representatives—around 85 percent of all Democratic representatives.  Similarly, around 90 percent of Senate Democrats are on record in favor of expanding, not cutting Social Security.

Social Security is a solution to our looming retirement income crisis, the increasing economic squeeze on middle-class families, and the perilous and growing income and wealth inequality. In light of these challenges and Social Security’s important role in addressing them, the right question is not how can we afford to expand Social Security, but, rather, how can we afford not to expand it.

-Nancy Altman, President of Social Security Works and Chair of the Strengthen Social Security Coalition

Social Security Works Social Security Trustees’ Report fact sheet

The Social Security Trustees Report can be found here.

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Social Security Works is the convening group in the Strengthen Social Security Campaign, a coalition comprised of more than 350 national and state organizations representing more than 50 million Americans from many of the nation’s leading aging, labor, disability, women’s, children, consumer, civil rights and equality organizations.

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