Letting Go When it is Time to Die
INTERESTING STUFF – 2 February 2019

New Social Security Legislation Plus The Alex and Ronni Show

On Wednesday this week, Representative John Larson (D-CT), Chair of the Social Security Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee, announced the introduction of the Social Security 2100 Act.

There are more than 200 co-sponsors for the legislation – all Democrats – even though the bill includes some conservative elements. As long-time Social Security and Medicare advocate, Nancy Altman, explained in Forbes:

”These include a tax cut for middle-income seniors and other Social Security beneficiaries who are currently required to pay federal income tax on their benefits.

“They also include the restoration of Social Security to long-range actuarial balance for three quarters of a century and beyond.

“In addition to requiring the wealthy to contribute their fair share, the legislation would gradually increase the Social Security contributions (FICA) of workers and their employers. FICA, which currently applies to wages up to $132,900, would also apply to wages above $400,000.

“The FICA rate, currently at 6.2% on employees and employers, would increase by .05% a year — 50 cents a week for an average worker — until it reaches 7.4%.”

Even with such strong support among House Democrats, the bill is unlikely to pass the Senate or White House this time. But in the past few years, the political atmosphere about Social Security has shifted from all talk all the time of cutting it because the program is bankrupt (it is not) to expanding it.

Representative Larson is committed to holding hearings throughout the country to debunk such myths and educate the public on the importance of Social Security to all Americans:

“'We need to educate and unmask so many of these myths,' Larson told [Reuters reporter Mark Miller].

“'We need to talk about why Social Security is an earned benefit and not an entitlement. Certainly it is something you are entitled to, but the word makes Social Security sound like a poverty program or a handout. Nothing roils people who have been paying into the program their entire lives more.'”

Keep that in mind: don't let anyone tell you Social Security is a “entitlement”. It is an EARNED BENEFIT that every working American pays for through payroll deductions during his and her working life.

Be sure you let your Congress person know you support this legislation and remind them every now and then how important this is – even if they already support the legislation. You can do that here via telephone, email or postal mail.

The legislation may not make it through the Senate this year, but it will happen eventually. A majority of American support it – even President Trump during his 2016 campaign (although I do know that he can change his mind on a dime).

* * *

My former husband, Alex Bennett, and I had our regularly scheduled Skype conversation on Tuesday.

Somehow it turned into mostly a bitch session - complaints about minor things that are unlikely to get fixed so what's the point. Maybe it's just blowing off steam on entirely unrelated issues going on with the government in Washington, D.C.


”These include a tax cut for middle-income seniors and other Social Security beneficiaries who are currently required to pay federal income tax on their benefits."

This is means testing in another guise - either guise of which I approve. Some of us are fortunate enough that we would not starve if they gave our total SSA checks to the cause. There are people to whom that bit of extra money, gained from not having their SSA checks taxed, would mean a great deal.

I also agree with extending FICA withholding to all salary/wage income. I've never understood how people can condemn this idea. Otherwise generous, wonderful people can be so greedy when it comes to money!

It's amazing to me - and not in a good way - that people such as my husband are not able to collect on the decades of social security they paid into. It's called the Windfall Elimination Provision - was passed in the 1980s to deny workers who have later earnings in public service that include a pension (that they pay into, too).

My husband worked in the private sector for about 24 years, paying into SS, before moving to a public agency, in which he contributed to a pension plan but no longer paid into SS. Now, he is retired and can collect only a small fraction of the social security benefits he would have been entitled to.

I do understand that this provision was put in place to keep workers from collecting from both programs, although I, who also worked for both private and public agencies, but continued to contribute to ss throughout me working years, collect from both now that I am retired. Neither my husband nor I would be considered anything but middle income.

So - those earning over $400K a year do not have to pay on all their earnings? How is that fair?

Re the Alex and Ronni show: there are so many different ways to communicate these days. Everyone's tech setup is a little bit different, depending on what devices they have, how the devices are connected, and the details of their various service providers' plans. This provides many more ways for contacts to fail!

So why would someone ask you to use text messages?

When their phone is a mobile phone, your call may well catch the person crossing a busy intersection, or in a meeting at work, or in the bathroom, or the phone is in their purse in the back seat of the car so they won't be accused of distracted driving. Some people use voice mail, but if someone asks you to text them, they're telling you they're set up so that's the fastest way to contact them. Perhaps they get so little voice mail that they only remember to to check it once every few days, but a text message will be there for them to read the very next moment they're free to look at their phone.

I have the opposite problem: people insisting on dealing with me via voice even though my lung problems make talking on the phone very difficult.

Re. the video - Oh my, Ronnie, you are a very patient and wise woman....! 🙏
So, how are you?

Thank you, Ronni, for reporting on this important legislation to keep Social Security solvent throughout the 21st century. I just contacted my representatives and will continue to follow this issue.

Thanks for keeping up the latest info on SS. I think it’s so important voters keep expressing support for SS as you describe — to keep the pressure on our govt. lest they assume we don’t care.

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