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USW Supports 'Keep Social Security Promises Act'


For Immediate Use:  March 7, 2013
Contact:    Gary Hubbard, 202-256-8125, ghubbard@usw.org

USW Announces Support of ‘Keep Social Security Promises Act’
U.S. Sen. Sanders, Rep. Peter DeFazio introduce bills to strengthen benefits

              Washington, D.C. (Mar. 7) – Leo W. Gerard, President of the United Steelworkers (USW) today released a letter supporting today’s introduction of legislation by U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) cosponsored by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to strengthen Social Security by making the wealthiest Americans pay the same payroll tax that nearly everyone else already pays.

              Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) introduced the companion bill in the House. The legislation is titled: ‘Keeping Our Social Security Promises Act of 2013.’

              “The United Steelworkers is proud to stand with you and support this vital legislation to protect the integrity and longevity of our nation’s retirement system,” Gerard wrote. “Your bill will make Social Security fully solvent for the next 75 years and do so without having to take the damaging actions some have so callously called for; such as raising the retirement age, or cutting modest benefits that often are the difference between a retirement lived in dignity, or one lived in fear and poverty.”

              Sen. Sanders announced the bill at a press event in the U.S. Capitol, saying: “Social Security is the most successful government program in our nation's history. Through good times and bad, Social Security has paid out every benefit owed to every eligible American.” He added: “The most effective way to strengthen Social Security for the future is to eliminate the cap on the payroll tax on income above $250,000 so millionaires and billionaires pay the same share as everyone else.”

              Reid said of Sen. Sanders’ legislation: “His legislation should make people think twice before assuming that the only way to strengthen Social Security is to take away benefits that seniors have earned, or raise taxes on the middle class.”

              Under their legislation, those with yearly incomes of $250,000 or more would pay the same 6.2 percent payroll tax already assessed on those who earn up to $113,700 a year. Applying the Social Security payroll tax on income above $250,000 would only affect the wealthiest 1.3 percent of Americans, according to the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

              Since it was signed into law 77 years ago, Social Security has kept millions of senior citizens, widows, widowers, orphans, and the disabled out of poverty.  According to Sen. Sanders, it is the most successful government program in our nation's history and has not contributed to the federal deficit. Read the full bill here. For a fact sheet, click here. The USW support letter is at: www.usw.org/.

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