July 22, 2015
Statement by Retiree Leader Richard Fiesta on the 2015 Social Security and Medicare Trustees Reports
The following statement was issued by Richard Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans, regarding Trustees reports issued today on the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds:
“The Social Security and Medicare trustees today confirmed that Social Security and Medicare are not in crisis, and, in fact, continue to be in strong fiscal health.
“Throughout its history Social Security has never missed a payment, and that will continue to be the case until 2034 – one year more than last year’s projection. The Medicare Trust Fund is also strong, with sufficient funds to cover its obligations until 2030, unchanged from last year.
“Yet extremist politicians and Wall Street CEOs continue to try and manufacture crises and falsely claim that these systems are in danger. This is a cynical attempt to try and build support for unwanted, unneeded and risky changes to our earned benefits. In fact, time and again the American people have said that they support the Social Security and Medicare systems and that it is time to expand them.
“The projected deficit in the Social Security Disability Insurance Fund is serious but can be easily remedied with a technical fix. A reallocation between the trust funds has been done many times before under both Republican and Democratic leadership and would not impact the long-term solvency of Social Security. The refusal of Republican leadership to allow a simple fix – and instead put modest benefits for disabled Americans at risk – is simply shameful.
“Our country does face a retirement crisis – but that is not due to Social Security or Medicare. Sixty-two percent of households aged 55-64 have saved less than one times their annual salary, not nearly enough to sustain a family. For this reason expanding Social Security, which can be accomplished by making sure the top five percent of wage earners pay the same percentage in taxes on earnings as everyone else, is a top priority of the Alliance for Retired Americans.”