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Monday, March 07, 2016
|Tens of millions of Americans rely on Social Security for a majority of their income, but this year – for just the fourth time in the history of the program – beneficiaries didn’t receive a cost of living adjustment. Meanwhile, CEO pay has continued to skyrocket.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren has introduced a bill called the Seniors and Veterans Emergency Benefits Act (SAVE Benefits Act)1 that would give seniors, veterans, people with disabilities and surviving spouses who rely on Social Security a one-time payment of $580 to help make ends meet. It would be paid for by closing a loophole that subsidizes excessive CEO pay.
In a few days, Sen. Warren, Sen. Chuck Schumer and progressive groups will be delivering the signatures on this petition to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Add your name to the petition now to help build pressure on Sen. McConnell to allow a vote on the bill.
In October, the Social Security Administration announced that there would not be an automatic increase in Social Security benefits in 2016, as there is in most years.2 Right now, the average Social Security benefit is less than $15,000 per year – and many of the tens of millions of Americans who rely on Social Security to get by desperately need a raise.
Meanwhile, CEO pay at the 350 biggest firms in the U.S. now averages more than $16 million per year – over 1,000 times more than the average Social Security benefit. In 2014, the last year for which data is available, these CEOs saw their pay increase by 3.9 percent. Incredibly, much of this compensation slips through the so-called “performance pay” loophole, which allows corporations to deduct CEO pay from their taxable income as long as it is based on performance.
The SAVE Benefits Act addresses both of these problems at once by providing a one-time $580 Social Security payment that is paid for by eliminating this egregious loophole. It’s a smart bill that will give a much-needed raise to our seniors and veterans instead of wealthy CEOs.
But Sen. McConnell has so far refused to allow a vote on the SAVE Benefits Act. That’s why Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Schumer and progressive groups are organizing a big petition delivery this week. Add your name to our petition now to make sure it is included in the delivery.