Social Security Pulling Hundreds of Thousands of Hoosiers Out of Poverty
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - A report highlights the ways, at the ripe old age of 79, Social Security is helping neighbors in Indiana and the economy. While pensions have changed, jobs have been lost and homes have lost equity. Eric Kingson, co-director with Social Security Works says the program is still strong and lifted 500,000 Indiana residents out of poverty in 2012. “Social Security is not about financing,” says Kingson. “The end is the well-being of the American people and the kind of society we want. We want a system where we all work together and provide this kind of protection.” According to the report, one-in-five Hoosiers received Security Security benefits in 2013, totaling over $18 billion. Despite concerns about the program’s solvency, Kingson says it is actually only facing a modest shortfall in the future. This year’s Social Security Trustees report projects the program can pay all benefits in full for nearly two decades. After that, Kingson says, it could still pay 77 cents on every dollar of earned benefits. “It’s important Social Security keep all its commitments without cutting benefits,” he says. “Instead of believing the hype the program is sinking and needs to be dismantled, the discussion should focus on ways to strengthen it. Like our highway system occasionally, it has to be adjusted,” Kingston says. “You run into some bumps into the road, but you don’t start talk about ripping up the system. But the folks who want to destroy it, who want to rip it up piece by piece, they do start talking about, ‘The sky is falling.’” Millionaires and billionaires only make Social Security payroll contributions on their first $117,000 of earnings. Kingson says having everyone pay the same rate would help close Social Security’s entire projected 75-year funding gap.
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