Monday, July 08, 2019

Social Security Is A Good Litmus Test For Candidates


Even many Republicans who want to kill Social Security off, pretend to support it. If there's a third rail of American politics, Social Security is it. Paul Ryan may not have understood that completely but a far dumber lummox than he ever was-- Donald Trump-- does. Kayleigh McEnany, the press secretary for Trump's 2020 campaign told CNBC that Trump "is committed to protecting Social Security." Coming for a spokesperson for the most dishonest person to ever win an office in America, what does that mean? McEnany said "He reiterated this promise yet again on June 24 in noting the great deal of time his administration spends on protecting Social Security. Democrats, meanwhile, would have to make painful cuts to Social Security and other entitlement programs to pay for their $93 trillion Green New Deal and government takeover of health care." So here we are-- back in baseless lie-ville.

A baseless lie, in fact, that Democrats threw back in Trump's face. Bernie, announcing the bicameral Expand Social Security Caucus, along with 16 senators and more than 130 House members last September: ""We are here today to say very loudly and very clearly that at a time when millions of seniors are trying to survive on $12,000 or $13,000 a year, our job is not to cut Social Security. Our job is to expand Social Security so that everyone in America can retire with dignity and respect. Elizabeth Warren, a co-founder of the caucus: "Social Security is a lifeline for seniors and Americans with disabilities. We won't let it be cut by one cent-- and instead we will fight to expand it. The rich and powerful have rigged our economy to make themselves richer, while working families face a massive retirement crisis. If this government really works for the people, it should protect and expand Social Security."
The caucus is committed to expanding Social Security, one of the most popular and successful government programs. Last year alone, Social Security lifted 22 million Americans, including more than 15 million seniors, out of poverty. Before Social Security, nearly half of the nation’s seniors were living in poverty.

A number of bills have been introduced in the Senate and House to expand Social Security, including legislation written by Sanders last year to lift the cap on taxable income that goes into Social Security, requiring the wealthiest Americans-- those who make over $250,000 a year-- to pay their fair share of Social Security taxes. That bill would increase Social Security benefits and extend the program’s solvency for the next 60 years.

At a campaign rally in Montana last week, President Trump claimed Democrats want to “destroy your Social Security,” and “I’m going to save your Social Security." Meanwhile, the budget that Trump himself proposed earlier this year would have cut Social Security by some $72 billion over a 10-year period, according to a report from the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare.
Aside from Bernie and Elizabeth Warren, other senators who have joined the Expand Social Security Caucus are Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Ed Markey (D-MA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Patty Murray (D-WA), Brian Schatz (D-HI) Tina Smith (D-MN), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Ron Wyden (D-OR). Tellingly no Republicans have joined-- not even self-proclaimed "moderates" like Susan Collins of Maine. same in the House-- over a 140 Democratic members... and no Republicans.

Yesterday, published a piece about where the top Democrats running for president stand on Social Security. Biden, unfortunately, has a putrid Republican record on Social Security. He's as much a danger to the system as Trump is.

The former vice president’s campaign seemingly has not taken a public stance on Social Security reform. However, in the past Biden has raised ideas including means testing for benefits, raising the full retirement age or increasing the cap on payroll tax earnings. Currently, employers and employees each pay 6.2% on wages up to $132,900.

Biden spoke about Social Security in a May 2018 speech on the middle class and the economy at the Brookings Institution.

“Paul Ryan was correct when he did the tax code, what was the first thing he decided we need to go after? Social Security and Medicare,” Biden said in his speech. “Now, we need to do something about Social Security and Medicare. That’s the only way you can find room to pay for it.”

In that speech, Biden said he doesn’t know a lot of people in the one percent that are relying on Social Security in retirement.

He called for a “pro-growth progressive tax code” and getting rid of loopholes like stepped up basis on certain assets. That would help raise revenue to “make sure that Social Security and Medicare can stay,” he said.


Sanders introduced the Social Security Expansion Act alongside Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) in February.

Goal ThermometerThat bill has the support of other Democratic presidential candidates including Sens. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).

The proposal calls for raising benefits by about $1,342 a year for seniors who make less than $16,000 per year. It would also make all income of more than $250,000 subject to the Social Security payroll tax.

“It is time to expand Social Security, not cut it,” Sanders said in a statement announcing the introduction of the bill.

“At a time when more than half of older Americans over the age of 55 have no retirement savings, our job is to expand Social Security to make sure that everyone in this country can retire with the dignity they have earned and everyone with a disability can live with the security they need,” he said.

Sanders supports the same reform changes in his presidential campaign platform.

Elizabeth Warren

As a senator representing Massachusetts, Warren has spoken out about protecting funding to the Social Security Administration to keep its field offices running and making sure the agency is able to provide seniors the resources they need.

“I believe we should increase the funding for the Social Security Administration so that you have the resources that you need to make sure that our seniors get the benefits that they’ve earned,” Warren told a Social Security official at a February 2018 congressional hearing.

In 2016, Warren introduced legislation to give those receiving Social Security benefits a one-time payment equal to 3.9% of the average annual benefit to make up for a zero cost-of-living adjustment that year. In 2015, she introduced a budget amendment to expand Social Security by extending its solvency and increasing benefits.

In April, Warren tweeted about Social Security from her presidential campaign account. “We need to expand it, not make cuts,” she said.

Kamala Harris

Harris, a California senator, teamed up with other senators earlier this year to introduce a bill aimed at expanding Social Security. Other presidential candidates supporting that legislation include Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).

Among the features of that legislation, called the Social Security Expansion Act, include expanding the program’s solvency to the year 2071, increasing benefits and cost-of-living adjustments, updating the special minimum benefit for low-income workers and adding student benefits for children up to age 22 of deceased or disabled workers.

“We need to expand Social Security and provide our seniors and other beneficiaries of this vital program with greater dignity and peace of mind,” Harris said of that proposal in a February statement.

On June 29, Harris tweeted that as president she would oppose any cuts to Social Security and Medicare.

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At 6:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are five votes under my roof. Harris will get none of them.

At 6:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

no democrap will ever get my vote again.

Even if those listed are sincere, which I doubt, the party still will end up cutting it to get some Nazi votes or just to ratfuck those they don't care about.

At 3:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ 6:18 am - Do they actually let you vote when you show up at your polling place wearing that tin-foil hat?

At 4:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

3:40 obviously doesn't remember obamanation offering to cut SSI twice in order to keep the fascist government open. The only reason it didn't get cut was that boner was too big a political coward to actually cut it.

or was I the only one paying attention? maybe I was.


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