Bill Silverfarb/Daily Journal
U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo, cuts a cake celebrating the Social Security Administration's 75th birthday in Pacifica yesterday with Barbara Paquette, left, and Huldah Williams.
Currently, the money coming into the Social Security Administration exceeds what is distributed but that will change as baby boomers age, said U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo.
"Social Security is totally solvent,” Speier told a group of seniors in Pacifica yesterday. "The surplus is invested into bonds but by 2030 there will be twice as many senior citizens over 65.”
By 2037, Social Security benefits could be wiped out unless Congress makes some simple changes to preserve the program many retirees depend on to survive, Speier said.
"If you make over $106,000 you don’t pay Social Security,” she said. "The rich should not get a pass. Lifting the cap will keep it solvent.”
Speier made the comments at the Pacifica Senior Center on Crespi Drive yesterday afternoon as she also cut a cake in honor of the Social Security Administration’s 75th birthday, which was Aug. 14.
The benefit is not just for seniors, however. Social Security also helps support people with disabilities and widows and children after a spouse dies.
Speier herself relied on the benefit after her husband was killed 17 years ago in a car accident.
"Social Security was a lifeline for keeping the family together,” said Speier, who just turned 60. "It is an extraordinary benefit and shows the great compassion of our country.”
Nattie Juvland appreciated hearing Speier tell the story of her loss. Juvland, 75, lost her husband 32 years ago and relied on Social Security to support her and her two daughters for many years.
"I would not have been able to survive without the benefit,” Juvland said. One of her daughters also later became disabled and also needed Social Security to survive.
Juvland, a 44-year Pacifica resident, only worked part time before her husband’s death. She worked full time after that and did not retire until the age of 72, after finishing her career working for Genentech.
Deirdra Kennedy just turned 65 and is expecting her first check next week.
Kennedy applied for the benefit online.
"It was so easy to do,” Kennedy said.
The Social Security Administration was created Aug. 14, 1935 as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal.
Speier will visit three senior centers today to continue the birthday celebration for Social Security. She will be at the San Bruno Senior Center, 1555 Crystal Springs Road, 9 a.m.; The Burlingame Recreation Center, 850 Burlingame Ave., 10 a.m.; and the San Mateo Senior Center, 2645 Alameda de las Pulgas, 11:30 a.m.
Bill Silverfarb can be reached by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone: (650) 344-5200 ext. 106.