It’s a great thing that Democrats are united behind expanding Social Security. Knowing that a new line—no cuts to Social Security benefits—is huge. But before we can even get to the fight that makes expansion happen, there are Social Security cuts happening under a Republican Congress that are hurting seniors and disabled people all over the country. Those cuts are to the core operating budget of the Social Security Administration, which has been slashed by 10 percent in the last five years.
The administrative costs of Social Security are not appropriated by Congress, out of the federal budget. It all comes out of Social Security’s dedicated revenue, now at a $2.8 trillion surplus. The SSA could operate at full strength, but the Republican Congress isn’t letting it.
The result is an agency hampered in administering the most popular public program in the nation’s history, and the goal is to make that program run less efficiently, be more bureaucratic, and to erode its popularity.