Social Security

I believe Social Security is part of a moral promise kept, by our nation, between children and parents to protect each other in their times of need.

Social Security is a program that benefits people at every stage in their lives. Children receive Social Security as dependent survivors of workers who have died (and as the dependents of disabled and retired workers), middle aged workers receive Social Security disability benefits (middle-aged dependents are also eligible to receive SS if they are disabled), and, of course, seniors receive Social Security retirement benefits.

When we are young, our parents deliver safety, sustenance and a good public education. They give us all equal opportunity. As our parents age, we are bound to ensure that they do not go wanting for basic needs.

We only have to think of Enron and other examples of private pensions gone bad to understand why having the extra retirement protection Social Security affords is a good thing.

Social Security was designed as a retirement fund, but also as an insurance policy. Its existence demonstrates that America understands our responsibility to protect our seniors. We promised that we would never again allow those who protected us as children to die penniless, and hungry, because their private retirement plan fell apart in the stock market.

Moreover, Social Security is not charity, but rather something that people pay for. 

American workers pay into Social Security throughout their careers, with the assurance that the money will be there for them when they retire.

According to the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, if Congress makes no changes Social Security is projected to deliver full guaranteed benefits, thanks to its revenue stream, until at least 2041.  At that point, if no changes are made, Social Security will be able to deliver approximately 80 percent of guaranteed benefits.  Therefore, the solvency of Social Security does not pose an immediate threat, but is nevertheless an important issue that must be addressed.

Social Security is one of the most popular and effective government programs ever and if we are efficient and effective in continually watching over the program, it will continue to fulfill our promise to our elders and to those in need. I do not support or oppose any particular plan to ensure solvency, but instead look toward a holistic and continuous appraisal of the Social Security program, and equally continuous stewardship over it. 

I also fundamentally do not believe in changing Social Security as a means of reducing the deficit or debt in our general budget. Social Security has supported and will continue to support itself on its own budget, with its own dedicated revenue structure. While government deficits have increased, that increase has not come as a result of Social Security. We must be vigilant and responsible with regard to deficits and our national debt, but we must also be vigilant about not placing blame for that debt where it does not belong.

More on Social Security

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The congressman who could become President Donald Trump’s recurring political nightmare has photos on his office walls of himself with anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela, pathbreaking boxer Muhammad Ali and civil rights activist Coretta Scott King.

Each were fighters of a sort, and Rep. Elijah Cummings says he is, too. The Baltimore Democrat’s battles usually involve pushing back as best he can on Trump administration policies and practices.

December 19, 2012 Press Release

December 19, 2012

I stand with my fellow CPC members in strongly opposing any move toward chained CPI that would greatly reduce the long-term benefits of every single Social Security recipient and their families. These are our family members, our friends and neighbors who worked hard, played by the rules, and paid their fair share.  Now the government must uphold its end of the deal and protect their Social Security benefits.   

March 16, 2011 Press Release
Congressman Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform recently signed onto a letter, co-signed by 124 other Members, urging Speaker John Boehner to move away from cuts to Social Security written into the Republican Continuing Resolution, H.R. 1.