Tom Harkin-Mark Begich Senate Bill On Social Security Longevity Essential To Become Law!

Social Security, begun under Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal in 1935, has been a life saver, a guarantee that senior citizens, widows, orphans, and the disabled will always have a safety net.

But with the number of people on Social Security rising rapidly as the Baby Boom Generation ages, there is a need to insure the long term future of the program, not only for people born between 1946 and 1964, but for all citizens who are paying into the program, and want to be insured that they will be able to collect when they reach retirement age, along with widows,orphans and the disabled.

So Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa and Senator Mark Begich of Alaska have proposed what others have suggested over the years, but has never happened.

That is, that there be no limit on income taxed for Social Security, just as there is no limit on income taxed for Medicare!

Presently, the income limit taxed is $113,700 in 2013, with the tax being 6.2 percent of income.

If the income limit taxed is withdrawn, there will be enough funding for Social Security for the long term future, and it is unfair that higher income earners have had a free break from being taxed, putting the burden on the lower income workers!

Additionally, the cost of living increases should be based on inflation reality, rather than the “chained CPI”, which distorts inflation on a lower level than costs which affect senior citizens!

If we do not treat the elderly and the disabled with respect and consideration, what kind of a nation are we, particularly for those who have limited ability to continue to earn income to stay out of poverty, particularly in a time of increased medical costs, high unemployment, and lower home equity for millions of people entering their “golden years”!

17 comments on “Tom Harkin-Mark Begich Senate Bill On Social Security Longevity Essential To Become Law!

  1. Hoopster July 24, 2013 9:34 pm

    If the income tax limit is withdrawn and I make over $113,000 today, will my future benefits rise as I am now contributing more into the program? I’m guessing you’re going to say no, that it’s just a redistribution?

  2. Ronald July 24, 2013 9:52 pm

    I am sure that if you earn more income and pay more, that you will gain more, as, for instance, I made close to the maximum before I retired from full time work, and get a lot more now on Social Security than the average person who pays less.

    Of course, the percentage is lower of what you have earned, while the lower income gains a higher percentage of what he or she earns, but in actual amounts, the payments are much higher!

  3. Hoopster July 24, 2013 10:07 pm

    I’m glad you think that if I put more in then my benefits will be higher, but if that’s the case then it won’t fix the long term solvency issues.

  4. Ronald July 24, 2013 10:12 pm

    Realize, Hoopster, that the percentage of people who make high incomes is quite small, so this bill would insure solvency and decent benefits for 75 years and more, and if need be in the long term future, the percent given, 6.2 percent, can be raised. Remember, also, that many people do not make it to retirement or much beyond it, despite some living very long lives!

  5. Robert July 24, 2013 10:17 pm

    First of all, is Social Security insurance or welfare? Then what will happen with the new revenue should the cap be removed? Will it be spent on Social Security recipients or will it be given over to the general fund for use as Congress sees fit, just as they did when the cap on Medicare was removed back in the 90’s? Remember at first there was a surplus but the our crooks in Congress used the surplus as a slush fund, and where are we today with Medicare? Same problem, no solution. You would think that it must be embarrassing to have to continually be going back for more money. But then again, politicians, Weiner is an example, hardly get embarrassed about anything.

  6. Ronald July 24, 2013 10:21 pm

    Robert, Social Security is insurance, not welfare, as we all contribute to it. I assume that the funds will be set aside for the future and make interest, and that is what SHOULD happen. I must admit that it is hard to trust politicians, and fully agree on that, but the fund needs to be strengthened for the future!

  7. Hoopster July 24, 2013 10:30 pm

    You’re right. That’s why SS is so terrible. My brother contributed to it for years but died when he was 62 and received nothing! A better system would be for people to actually own what they put away. Then my brother’s family could have kept his contributions.

  8. Robert July 24, 2013 10:55 pm

    But isn’t it true that Social Security does not have a real trust fund? That it does not have a physical lock box? That there is no contractual right to receive it? That its taxes are not actually invested? It is not a safety net. It is not funded by premiums or contributions. I mean Social Security is not a retirement account. It is not an investment account. It is not a pension plan. It is not an IRA. It is not a savings account. It is not a return on investment. It is not a government 401(k) or 403(b) plan. It is not an annuity. It does not seem to be an insurance really. So isn’t the reality of the situation, of what is actually going on, that the federal government takes taxes from the youth and adult working population and spends the money on the boondoggles that 90 percent of the federal budget consists of? Then, as those populations reach retirement age, it takes new taxes from the current group of working youths and adults and gives it to the former group and calls it Social Security benefits. So it seems to me like it is an intergenerational, income-transfer, wealth-redistribution welfare program instead of insurance.

  9. Ronald July 24, 2013 10:59 pm

    Yes, Hoopster, that is a shame, but the theory is that most people will not protect and invest money for retirement, particularly in past generations, and so this way, they, at least, know they will have SOME income in retirement if they make it to that age!

  10. Ronald July 24, 2013 11:02 pm

    Robert, some of what you say seems to be the case, and it is certainly not perfect by any means, but we are not about to abandon it after nearly 80 years, and it can be considered a safety net. And I do not agree when you say that 90 percent of the budget is boondoggles, and if it is, then a lot of that is defense spending waste, but not 90 percent!

  11. Jane Doe July 24, 2013 11:13 pm

    In my opinion, this is great news!

  12. Robert July 24, 2013 11:14 pm

    Ronald, 90% was figuratively speaking. I believe no reasonable person can deny the fact that our government wastes a lot of money that no tax increase can keep up with. The fact is that both parties used SS tax revenues as a slush fund. That is sadly the truth. What I am saying is that we should make SS a means tested program and only those who really need the benefits should get them as it was intended in the first place. We just assume once and for all its a welfare program for those who retire poor. There is no need for retirees living at the Hampton’s in Palm Beach to receive SS check, to receive tax money from a young kid flipping burgers. And give younger generations the freedom to opt out and invest somewhere else.

  13. Ronald July 25, 2013 12:07 am

    I could agree with you, Robert, but such a change would have to evolve over a long period of years, and it is doubtful that the wealthy would agree to it, and we all know that the wealthy have great impact on legislation! And opting out and investing elsewhere, brings to mind the George W. Bush plan, which if had been in place, would have meant massive losses for inexperienced investors in the Great Recession of 2008. The whole point of Social Security is to have a bottom line that no one can fall under, but it is not meant to be an adequate income for anyone in retirement!

  14. Princess Leia July 25, 2013 5:30 am

    I second what Jane Doe said. I think it’s great news too. Thanks for posting about this Professor.

  15. Rustbelt Democrat July 25, 2013 7:18 am

    Great news! Hope it passes!

  16. James Moffat August 1, 2013 11:43 am

    Ah, yes! The old ploy: “Let the young invest in the retirement vehicle of their own choice!”
    THAT must have been written by a lender.

    Who is naive enough tho think that a. 18 year-old kid, working for minimum or meager wages is going to have enough wisdom or funds to invest in his own retirement?

    The only “Investment vehicle” they’ll be using will have tires on it.
    For most youngsters, a car is seen as an investment, rather than an expense as it truly is.
    If Social Security becomes a self-directed choice, retirement will be a thing of the past. Banksters all over the world are salivating. Have we learned nothing from the last crash? What IF we had allowed the Feds to invest our Social Security when Bush was banging the drum for it? Where would our future be? Answer: In some investment banker’s offshore bank account. Sometimes, the best choice is NOT to have a choice.

  17. Ronald August 1, 2013 7:33 pm

    I am in total agreement with you, James, and welcome to the blog!

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