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Protecting and Expanding Social Security and Medicare

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Retirement and the security of having a basic, secure income are taken for granted today. But 80 years ago, the end of work often meant the onset of poverty for older people who didn’t enjoy the support of a large extended family. Social Security and Medicare are a sacred promise made generation to generation. Their preservation – not privatization – are non-negotiable.

I will stand up to protect Social Security and Medicare by supporting simple, common-sense reforms that will modernize these vital programs and make them secure for generations to come.

Increasing lifespans, shrinking family sizes, and falling wages are pushing the current Social Security system towards a revenue shortage. One response to this is to promote dangerous plans to require Americans to gamble their savings in a poorly regulated and unstable stock market and to turn Medicare into a coupon scheme. In Congress, I will fight any attempts to privatize Social Security and Medicare.

Social Security has helped millions of Americans over the years. To make it solvent for years to come, we start by raising the income cap to $250,000 and indexing that to inflation. While people today are living much longer than they used to, there is a substantial longevity gap between income groups. Raising the retirement age without reducing this gap is wrong.

If we do nothing, our current Social Security system can pay full benefits for two decades. While that is a legitimate concern, it’s not an immediate crisis. There are years to work out a reasonable plan if we start now, and many possible approaches. None of them are free, but we don’t need to do all of these things; just enough of them to make sure Social Security will continue to be there for the next generation.

But the absolute best thing we can do to save Social Security and Medicare is to bring secure, high-paying jobs back to our country. There can’t be a decent national retirement system without a real, productive economy to support it.