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Maine AFL-CIO Strongly Opposes Proposed Cuts to Social Security

Andy O’Brien
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The Maine AFL-CIO has pledged to fight any proposals in Congress to cut Social Security. Despite broad bipartisan agreement to take cuts to Social Security and Medicare off the table during the President’s State of the Union speech last month, some politicians in Washington are still pushing to reduce retirement security for working Americans.

Recently, it was revealed that a bipartisan group of lawmakers is considering raising the Social Security retirement age to 70 years old. Other proposals would raise the full retirement age for Social Security and Medicare to 70 for people born in 1978 or later. In 1983, Congress increased the retirement age for full Social Security benefits from 65 to 67 for anyone born in 1960 or later.

Social Security is a critical lifeline for working class people and we strongly condemn any action to cut it, including raising the retirement age. Maine workers should not be expected to work until they are 70 years old to receive benefits they were promised. While the rich in this country are living longer than ever, the disparity in life expectancy between the haves and have nots is getting worse.

These proposals would significantly harm working class, low-income, Black and Indigenous people, who on average have much lower life expectancy rates than wealthy Americans. At a time when economic inequality continues to soar, Social Security needs to strengthened and expanded by making the wealthy pay their share. The labor movement in is closely watching this debate in Congress and we will vigorously defend our retirement security against any attempts to weaken it.

An AARP poll found that 85 percent of Americans age 50+ oppose cutting Social Security and Medicare. A separate poll found that 83 percent of Democrats, 73 percent of independents, and 73 percent of Republicans want to strengthen Social Security and pay for it by making the wealthy contribute their fair share. Maine had the second-highest share of Social Security beneficiaries among states in the US in 2021