Hillary Clinton is to set an agenda for increasing Social Security benefits for women and low-income seniors.
The frontrunner for the Democratic Party Presidential nomination has answered a questionnaire sent by the American Federation of Labor in April and was not available to the public until now. Reuters has seen the questionnaire and it has been confirmed by three sources.
According to Reuters, Clinton vowed to protect Social Security benefits from Republican efforts to cut it and prolong age of retirement and she also said she would “enhance it to meet new realities.” She added “I am especially focused on the fact that we need to improve how Social Security works for women. I also want to enhance benefits for our most vulnerable seniors.” She is expected to set the agenda for proposals on retirement security in the upcoming couple of months.
The former Secretary of State and U.S. Senator of New York, Clinton stated the previous month that she is considering the raise of the cap on the amount of earning that is taxable for Social Security, but did not give any specific details. On the other hand, Senators Bernie Sanders, a Democratic Presidential candidate has proposed an expansion of the program’s benefits.
Clinton has also been vocal for combating gender wage inequality and according to Reuters she has stated in July “It’s way past time to end the outrage of so many women still earning less than men on the job.” She also vowed to protect women who also spend time out of work to take care for family members.
Experts on the subject have come in support for Clinton raising the social security benefit. According to Reuters, Teresa Ghilarducci, an economics professor at The New School said the solution for wage equality and end of low wages for women is the increase of social security benefits. She stated “Raising the minimum benefit to the poverty level is not very expensive. According to Heather Boushey, the executive director of Washington Center for Equitable Growth, Social Security was pivotal in reducing poverty among the aged.
On the other hand, Republican Presidential contenders for the 2016 Elections have already talked about cutting benefits. Jeb Bush has also proposed the prolongation of the retirement age for the program.
The American Federation of Labor, which is an organization of 56 member unions that represent more than 12.5 million workers. They have invited Clinton and other fellow Democrat candidates in the race for the White House. The vote of labor is very important for the Democratic Party. In the recent couple of weeks only three national unions have endorsed Presidential candidates. Hillary Clinton got the endorsement of the American Federation of Teachers and the Machinists’ Union and rivaling Democrat and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont got endorsed by the National Nurses United.
The AFL-CIO has not yet made the decision of an official endorsement of a candidate; however the unions which comprise the organization are free to endorse candidates of their own free volition.