Sanders-Warren Plan Would Expand Social Security by Taxing the Rich

As congressional Republicans threaten to chop Social Safety and different key federal applications, progressive Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren led a bunch of lawmakers Monday in unveiling laws that will improve Social Safety advantages by at the least $200 per thirty days and lengthen this system’s solvency for many years by lastly requiring rich People to pay their fair proportion.

The Social Security Expansion Act, launched by Sanders (I-Vt.) and Warren (D-Mass.) within the Senate and by Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-In poor health.) and Val Hoyle (D-Ore.) within the Home, would put an extra $2,400 in beneficiaries’ pockets every year and make sure the program is totally funded by way of 2096.

The invoice would accomplish this by lifting the cap on the utmost quantity of earnings topic to the Social Safety payroll tax — a change that will not elevate taxes on the 93% of U.S. households that make $250,000 or much less per 12 months, in response to an analysis carried out by the Social Safety Administration on the request of Sanders.

At the moment, annual earnings above $160,200 should not topic to the Social Safety payroll tax, which signifies that millionaires will stop contributing to this system later this month. The laws proposes lifting this cover and subjecting all earnings above $250,000 per 12 months to the Social Safety payroll tax. If enacted, the invoice would have raised greater than $3.4 billion from the nation’s high 11 highest-paid CEOs alone in 2021, together with $2.9 billion from Tesla and Twitter govt Elon Musk.

“At a time when almost half of older People don’t have any retirement financial savings and virtually 50% of our nation’s seniors are attempting to outlive on an earnings of lower than $25,000 a 12 months, our job is to not lower Social Safety,” Sanders stated in a statement.

“Our job is to increase Social Safety so that each senior in America can retire with the dignity that they deserve and each particular person with a incapacity can reside with the safety they want,” the chair of the Senate Committee on Well being, Schooling, Labor, and Pensions continued. “The laws that we’re introducing at the moment will increase Social Safety advantages by $2,400 a 12 months and can lengthen the solvency of Social Safety for the following 75 years by ensuring that the wealthiest individuals in our society pay their fair proportion into the system.”

“Proper now, a Wall Avenue CEO who makes $30 million pays the identical quantity into Social Safety as somebody who makes $160,000 a 12 months,” the Vermont Unbiased added. “Our invoice places an finish to that absurdity which is able to permit us to guard Social Safety for generations to come back whereas lifting tens of millions of seniors out of poverty.”

As Sanders’ workplace famous:

Earlier than 1935, when it was signed into legislation by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, about 50% of the nation’s seniors had been residing in poverty, in addition to numerous People residing with disabilities and surviving dependents of deceased employees. Practically 90 years later, the senior poverty charge is right down to 10.3% and in 2021 alone, in the course of the onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic, Social Safety lifted 26.3 million People out of poverty, together with greater than 18 million seniors.

Regardless of this lengthy legacy of combatting poverty, extra have to be executed to strengthen this system, not lower it. Whereas the typical Social Safety profit is just $1,688 a month, almost 40% of seniors depend on Social Safety for a majority of their earnings; one in seven depend on it for greater than 90% of their earnings; and almost half of People aged 55 and older don’t have any retirement financial savings in any respect.

Schakowsky warned that “as a substitute of working to guard Social Safety, my Republican colleagues are plotting to chop advantages and lift the retirement age.”

Opposite to the claims of GOP lawmakers who’re clamoring to slash advantages and postpone eligibility, the newest annual Social Safety trustees report showed that this system has a $2.85 trillion surplus in its belief fund, enabling it to pay 100% of promised advantages by way of 2035, 90% for the following 25 years, and 80% for the following 75 years.

“Whereas Home Republicans are keen to place Social Safety on the chopping block, we’re combating arduous to guard People’ hard-earned advantages and increase protection,” stated Hoyle. “With the rising price of residing, it’s time to modernize and increase this system.”

Along with lifting the tax cap to spice up advantages by $200 every month for all recipients, the Social Safety Growth Act would improve Price-Of-Residing-Changes by adopting a extra correct measure of inflation, enhance the Particular Minimal Profit to assist maintain low-income employees out of poverty, and restore scholar advantages as much as age 22 for kids of disabled or deceased employees.

Endorsed by 56 labor unions and progressive advocacy teams, the laws is overwhelmingly standard amongst voters, who’ve persistently expressed opposition to slicing or privatizing Social Safety.

In response to polling results revealed Monday by Knowledge for Progress, 78% of doubtless voters assist the Social Safety Growth Act, together with 85% of Democrats, 75% of Independents, and 72% of Republicans. The survey, commissioned by Social Safety Works, was carried out on-line from January 27 to January 30.

“Social Safety Works is proud to endorse the Social Safety Growth Act,” the group’s govt director, Alex Lawson, stated in a press release. “This invoice is the reply to any politician or pundit who claims we ‘can’t afford’ Social Safety. It protects and expands advantages, and it’s totally paid for by lastly requiring the rich to contribute their fair proportion.”

“Through the State of the Union, almost each member of Congress stood and clapped for shielding seniors,” Lawson famous. “They need to show it by passing this invoice into legislation.”

A fast message earlier than you retain studying

We’re proud to publish actual information twelve months of the 12 months, fully freed from cost to our readers. However producing high-quality, unbiased work is just not cost-free – we rely closely in your assist.

In case you discovered the piece above helpful, informative, or inspiring, please take into account supporting Truthout with a tax-deductible donation. A present of any measurement makes a distinction and helps maintain this distinctive platform alive.