According to Rose Ann DeMoro, executive director of the California Nurses’ Association and National Nurses United, the “real story” behind Social Security’s long-term solvency is that Wall Street bankers and their allies in Washington D.C. are painting a skewed picture of Social Security in an effort to privatize the program and seize millions of Americans’ retirement and disability savings.
In an article entitled, “It’s Up to All of Us to Save Social Security,” first published in the Huffington Post on October 2012, DeMoro explains that rather than being an entitlement program, Social Security disability insurance awards are benefits earned through payroll deductions throughout a worker’s life. Furthermore, Social Security “is especially critical for women who have historically earned less than men and [who have] spent more time out of the workforce, thus building less of an income base that determines the amount of benefits….Women are also less likely to have employer-paid pensions or other savings, and typically live longer than men.” DeMoro offers suggestions to strengthen the Social Security Trust Fund. She identifies the simplest solution as raising the income ceiling on payroll taxes to earnings above the current limit of $110,000.
Most importantly, DeMoro notes that the Social Security disability program is fully funded through the Social Security Trust Fund, and therefore, is not going broke; in fact, the Trust Fund “has a current surplus of $2.6 trillion, an amount expected to reach $3.7 trillion in 2022.” Even when the aging baby boomer generation eats away at this surplus by 2033, “incoming payroll tax revenues will still enable recipients to be paid more than 75 percent of promised benefits.”