Watch: Social Security’s Role in Solving the Retirement Income Crisis

“We are not going to balance the budget on the backs of the elderly, the children, working families, the sick and the poor. We’re not going to do that.” – Senator Bernie Sanders 

Today, John Burbank, EOI executive director, and Dean Baker, EOI board member, joined Social Security Works, lawmakers and experts from around the country to share research and strategies for the protection and expansion of Social Security.

The event coincided with the release of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Social Security cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) – a mere 1.5% which equates to about $19 a year.  Social Security accounts for more than 90 percent of income for 40 percent of U.S. seniors and it makes up more than half of the income of 70 percent of seniors. In Washington state, Social Security provided benefits to 1,164,430 Washingtonians or 16.9 percent of residents. Social Security also lifted 395,000 Washingtonians out of poverty in 2011.

Our nation’s budget negotiators are considering disastrous proposals like the chained CPI or a 3 percent benefits cut, despite the fact that Americans widely support expanding, not cutting, Social Security – even in hyper-red states like Texas and Kentucky.  You can check out video of the full conference below. Remarks from Senator Bernie Sanders and other lawmakers start at 3:29:00.

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