As you know, there is no cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) for Social Security recipients in 2016.
It is only the third time in 40 years that this has happened and when you recall that 47% of unmarried recipients and 22% of married recipients rely on the program for 90% or more of their income, you quickly see how devastating this is.
And that doesn't make it less terrible by including the 53% of men and 74% of women who rely on Social Security for half or more of their income.
In response last Thursday, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) introduced the Support the Seniors and Veterans Emergency Benefits Act (SAVE) that would create a one-time bump in the benefit that is equivalent to a 3.9% of the average payment.
Why 3.9 percent? you rightly may ask. I have an answer for you. Or, rather, Senator Warren does. Here she is explaining that last Friday to MSNBC host Chris Hayes:
The one-time payment 3.9% would amount to about $581.
If you're anything like me, you can make better sense of information if you can see it. Here is a simple explanation of that loophole from The Herald in Everett, Washington:
”Buried in the federal tax code is a provision that enables corporations to fully deduct components of executive compensation that are 'performance-based.'
“So corporations can pay their executives tens of millions of dollars, and at the same time write off those costs from their taxable income — with billions in lost tax revenue in the process.
“Closing this loophole would generate would generate about $51 billion a year. That's $10 billion more than needed to pay for the one-time $580 emergency benefit for all Social Security recipients.”
As the National Committee to Protect Social Security and Medicare (NCPSSM) notes:
”A $581 increase could cover almost three months of groceries for seniors or a year's worth of out-of-pocket costs on critical prescription drugs for the average Medicare beneficiary. The bill would lift more than 1 million Americans out of poverty.”
So far, 17 of her fellow senators are co-sponsors of Warren's SAFE bill: Ed Markey, Barbara Mikulski, Patty Murray, Chuck Schumer, Bill Nelson, Debbie Stabenow, Bernie Sanders, Sherrod Brown, Bob Casey, Sheldon Whitehouse, Jeff Merkley, Kirsten Gillibrand, Al Franken, Dick Blumenthal, Chris Murphy, Mazie Hirono, and Tammy Baldwin.
As Senator Warren explained in the video above, this legislation has a reasonable chance of passing because Republicans dislike the loophole for corporate salaries as much as Democrats do.
There is a fact sheet on the SAFE bill here [pdf]
The full text of the SAFE bill is here. [pdf]
And HERE IS THE IMPORTANT PART: At the end of the video, Senator Warren asked us support her bill by signing the petition. You can DO THAT HERE. And pass on the link to others.
Unless you want to, you are not required to make a donation on the page that loads after you sign the petition.