Unlike most government programs, Social Security has its own dedicated tax and is solvent until 2036.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, in S. 1558, has proposed gradually removing the income subject to the Social Security tax, which would make it solvent for 75 years, and able to pay full benefits.
Removing the cap would also make this a flat rather than regressive tax.
Support this bill and refuse to support any "reform" such as privatizing, means testing, or raising the eligibility age that would weaken it for those who need it most in the working and middle class.
Sen. Sanders reform would strengthen the program whereas anything proposed by Wall St. would would take the "security."
Washington has done enough for Wall St. It's time to protect average Americans from them.
Response to Petition
By David Kamin
The Obama Administration believes that all seniors should be able to retire with dignity, not just a privileged few. And we believe that all Americans deserve to know that, if they become disabled or if they lose the breadwinner in the family, Social Security will be there to protect them. Today, about 55 million Americans receive Social Security benefits, including nearly 40 million retirees and their family members, over 10 million Americans with disabilities and their dependents, and 6 million survivors of deceased workers.
For many of these Americans, Social Security is a key source of income. In fact, for more than half of Social Security recipients aged 65 or over, the program provides over 50 percent of their family income and, because of its lifetime income protection and survivors benefits, Social Security is particularly important for elderly women.
Like Senator Sanders, the Obama Administration is committed to protecting and strengthening Social Security -- and securing the basic compact that hard work should be rewarded with dignity at retirement or in case of disability or early death. The Administration believes that any plan to close the long-term Social Security financing shortfall must be balanced and that we must ask the highest income Americans to contribute more to the system as part of this.
Currently, workers pay Social Security payroll taxes on earnings up to $110,100; Senator Sanders' legislation, S. 1558, would also apply these payroll taxes to the earnings of the highest income Americans above $250,000. This proposal deserves serious consideration. As the President has said, a modest adjustment to the Social Security cap "would do a significant amount to stabilize the system." And, whether it be through this or through other means, the Administration is committed to having the richest Americans contribute more to Social Security as part of a balanced plan to restore Social Security solvency so that the system can continue to provide the same financial security for future generations that it does today.
The Obama Administration has also been clear that it will not accept any reform that privatizes Social Security, slashes benefits for future generations, or cuts basic benefits for any current beneficiaries. Put simply, reform should strengthen Social Security and not weaken it.
David Kamin is Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy