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.