FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 7, 2012
AARP: Congress Should Not Extend Payroll Tax Holiday
WASHINGTON – AARP Chief Executive Officer A. Barry Rand sent a letter to Members of Congress today, expressing the organization’s belief that Congress should not extend the Social Security payroll tax holiday beyond the current year. Rand’s letter follows:
“On behalf of millions of members nationwide and all Americans age 50 and over, I write today to express AARP’s belief that the Congress should not extend the Social Security payroll tax holiday beyond the current year. If economic relief is still a necessity at the end of the year, AARP believes that it should be delivered through other avenues and no longer through the payroll tax system.
“When Congress originally enacted and then extended the temporary payroll tax holiday, AARP recognized and appreciated that economic conditions had been devastating for millions of Americans and their families and that there was a need for action to help those who were struggling, help the economy and help businesses create new jobs. However, AARP also believed that several conditions must be met in the structuring of the payroll tax holiday to protect Social Security and its beneficiaries.
“AARP made clear that the Social Security payroll tax holiday should have no negative impact on Social Security or its beneficiaries in the short and long-term. To prevent harm in the short term, AARP urged that any loss to the Social Security Trust Funds be fully repaid. The 2012 Social Security Trustees report once again confirms that this condition has been met, with general funds transfers from the U.S. Treasury to the Social Security Trust Funds effectively holding them harmless from the loss of revenue due to the temporary payroll tax holiday.
“To avoid undermining Social Security’s long term funding stream, AARP also held that the payroll tax holiday would have to be temporary. In order to meet this condition, Congress should not extend the payroll tax holiday beyond the current year. Further extension of the payroll tax holiday would undermine confidence in the program and put at risk Social Security’s dedicated funding stream and the hard-earned benefits of millions of Americans and their families.
“As we look for ways to strengthen and grow the economy, we must remember the critical importance of Social Security for current and future generations.”
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with a membership that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with nearly 35 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's millions of members and Americans 50+; AARP VIVA, our bilingual multimedia platform for Hispanic members; and our website, AARP.org. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.