Monday, March 23, 2015

The Larson - Blumenthal Plan to Strengthen Social Security

I applaud the efforts of my Congressman John B. Larson and my U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal for their latest effort to protect the Social Security programs.  

On St. Patrick's day, these two Connecticut Lawmakers presented a great piece of legislation that, if passed, will ensure the solvency of the Social Security Trust Fund for the next 75 years.  This proposed bill is called "The Social Security 2100 Act" (H.R. 5306).  For a summary of this bill click here.

As I have stated in previous posts, the so called "Social Security Solvency Crisis" has been manufactured by right wing Republicans in Congress.  It has been known for several decades that an adjustment to the fund would have to be made when the baby boom generation reached a certain age.  A common sense cost-effective re-allocation can easily be made to ensure the solvency of the Social Security Trust Fund.  Nonetheless, Social Security opponents are trying to create the impression that the crisis is insurmountable and that the only solution to this problem is to completely dismantle our most effective anti-poverty program.

Larson and Blumenthal have proposed a plan that lifts the $118,500 cap.  Unfortunately, many Americans are not aware that individuals only pay Social Security contributions on their first $118,500 in earnings.  This means that those who make wages over $118,500 do not have to make any contributions beyond that point.  Under the plan proposed by Larson and Blumenthal earnings over $400,000 would be subject to Social Security taxes.

The proposed legislation shows that it is completely feasible to save the fund's solvency.  I urge everyone to read the bill's summary and not fall for right wing agenda that has resulted in the widening of the gap between rich and poor and is destroying our middle class. Among other things, the Larson-Blumenthal plan proposes to cut taxes for Social Security beneficiaries (those who need a tax cut the most!). 

Presently, your Social Security benefits are taxed if you have an income exceeding $25,000 for an individual or $32,000 for couples. The proposed plan would raise that threshold to $50,000 and $100,000 respectively.