Braley for Iowa Releases County-by-County Report Detailing Devastating Impact of Ernst’s Plan to Privatize Social Security for Iowa Seniors Print
News Releases - Politics & Elections
Written by Braley for Iowa   
Monday, 30 June 2014 16:04
Her proposal would cut benefits in half while adding to program’s long-term costs

Des Moines, IA – Today Braley For Iowa released a new county-by-county report detailing the devastating impact of State Senator Joni Ernst’s plan to privatize Social Security and replace guaranteed benefits with personal savings accounts for Iowa seniors.

According to the report, Ernst’s proposal would require “radical reductions in benefits”—cutting future retirees’ benefits nearly in half and severely threatening the retirement security Iowans have earned through a lifetime of work. The average benefit for an Iowa senior is less than $14,000 a year. Ernst’s plan would also be particularly risky for seniors during an economic downturn--if Ernst’s private savings system had been in place in 2008, seniors retiring that year would have seen an average $26,000 loss on their investment.

Furthermore, as Ernst herself has admitted, her proposal to privatize Social Security would actually cost taxpayers more, increasing the Social Security shortfall by an additional $2.2 trillion over the next 75 years and forcing lawmakers to potentially raise taxes, decrease benefits or increase borrowing to keep the program solvent.

“Social Security is a promise--pay into the program during your working life, and the benefits you’ve earned will be there for you when you retire,” said Jan Laue, President of the Iowa Alliance for Retired Americans. “But privatization puts the guaranteed benefit of Social Security at risk, jeopardizing retirement security for workers approaching retirement and future generations.  Rather than putting our retirement security in jeopardy, Iowans need a Senator who will fight to protect Social Security and ensure we keep our promises to our seniors.”

Bruce Braley believes we need to honor our promises to our seniors and ensure Social Security is available for our current and future generations. He has strongly opposed efforts to privatize Social Security, and also opposes any efforts to reduce future Social Security benefits for retirees if cost-of-living increases were shifted to a so-called “chained CPI” calculation.

The report also breaks down the importance of Social Security to seniors in all 99 counties across Iowa. In Polk County alone, more than 67,000 seniors rely on the promise of Social Security. More than 38,000 Iowa seniors count on Social Security in Linn County, in addition to more than 18,000 in Woodbury County.

In total, more than 600,000 Iowans currently depend on the promise of Social Security, including over 400,000 retirees, 76,000 disabled workers, 48,000 widows/widowers, and almost 39,000 children.

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