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Retirees: protect Social Security

Thu, Jan 3, 2013

Social Security should be protected in congressional discussions around the “fiscal cliff,” said members of a national grassroots group of retirees during a December 14 press conference outside the closed office of lame duck congressman Bobby Schilling (R-Colona).

The Alliance for Retired Americans issued its own study that said more than 2.03 million Illinoisans — 1 in 6 — receive Social Security. The average benefit is $13,541, for a $27.5 billion economic impact on the state.

In addition, 1.79 people in Illinois receive Medicare, with an average benefit of $10,714. Roughly 1 in 5 Illinoisans, or 2.7 million, receive Medicaid, with an average benefit of $4,869.

“Social Security can pay all benefits in full and on time for the next 20 years,” said the Alliance report, quoting from the Social Security trustees’ latest annual report in April. “After that, if Congress were not to act, it could still pay more than 75 cents on every dollar of earned benefits. The shortfall is equivalent to 1 percent of GDP which is roughly the amount of revenues that would be lost to the federal budget from extending the George W. Bush-era tax cuts benefitting the richest 2 percent of Americans – those with taxable income of over $250,000 a year.”

Asking all Americans to pay the same rate would close the funding gap, the Alliance said. Now, payroll tax deductions this year extend only to the first $110,100 of earnings.

Suzanne Hanney,
Prepared Materials

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