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Caring for Our Seniors

Social Security is at risk of collapse as congressional Republicans continue to backpedal on the promises of the New Deal, having proposed everything from implementing a means test and reducing benefits to increasing the full retirement age. While these measures might extend the life of the Social Security trust , they do not promote its long-term growth or sustainability for future generations.

As a third generation resident of our congressional district, I am fortunate enough to have two grandparents, who are 96 and 91. With people like my grandparents living longer lives and Baby Boomers like my mother reaching the age of retirement, the financial demands on the current system will deplete available funds by 2022 for disability insurance and 2030 for Old Age Supplemental Income.3

We need to ensure the continued solvency of Social Security for the generations of Americans to follow. As your Congressman, I will propose legislation that lifts the cap on income subject to Social Security tax, currently set at $127,200 for the fiscal year 2017. Additionally, I will recommend a rule change to prevent funds within the trust from being reappropriated for other purposes. Our elders have given so much to us, and they deserve to be protected and cared for in their golden years by us all.

Lastly, I want to sponsor legislation that provides robust protections against “elder abuse” through a senior’s bill of rights. According to a recent article in The New Yorker, approximately 10% of people older than 65 are thought to be victims, but such cases are rarely prosecuted.4 We need to raise penalties and crack down on abuse of the elderly, particularly crimes in retirement homes. The federal government should take a leading role by withholding Medicare payments from facilities found to be negligent in caring for their elderly and disabled populations.