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Congressman Larson replies to the Journal’s editorial on his Social Security 2100 Act.

March 11, 2019
Op-Ed and Letters

This letter originally appeared the Wall Street Journal on March 11, 2019. 

Regarding your editorial “Adding to Social Security” (March 4): Social Security isn’t an entitlement, it’s the insurance Americans pay for. The last time the payroll deduction was adjusted was in 1983. The question is, have private insurance premiums increased since 1983? The answer is obvious. Actuarially, there needs to be an adjustment to keep the program solvent for 75 years as the law requires.

Conservative Andrew Biggs’s claim that seniors are doing fine and don’t need a Social Security adjustment is fiction (“The Phony Retirement Crisis,” op-ed, March 1). As economists at the Federal Reserve have pointed out, on average, 90% of households haven’t fully recovered from the Great Recession. Fifty- to 64-year-olds are worried about their retirement, and 10,000 baby boomers become eligible for Social Security a day. This all puts an immediate strain on the system.

For nearly two-thirds of retirees, Social Security benefits represent a majority of their income. Looking the other way, kicking the can down the road, and doing nothing isn’t a solution. Doing nothing would result in the erosion of working people’s retirement guarantee.

The Journal is where many turn for the truth about the soundness and integrity of the government’s premiere insurance plan. Social Security is an essential lifeline for Americans. Nobody’s getting wealthy from it, and the money goes right back into the economy.

Our committee is holding hearings this week on the Social Security 2100 Act and the solutions presented. Our goal is to protect the certainty and security Social Security provides.

Rep. John Larson (D., Conn.)

East Hartford, Conn.

Mr. Larson is chairman of the House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee.