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(119,624 posts)
Sat Nov 9, 2013, 11:24 PM Nov 2013

"A Booster Shot for Social Security"

A Booster Shot for Social Security

BY Sarah Jaffe at In These Times



That was Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), who made news this week as the latest Democrat—and one from a key swing state—to sign on to a bill calling for expanding, not cutting Social Security benefits. Brown spoke on a conference call today hosted by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, telling media and PCCC members why he's decided to cosponsor Tom Harkin's (D-Iowa) Strengthening Social Security Act of 2013. The bill is also cosponsored by two other Democratic senators, Mark Begich of Alaska and Brian Schatz of Hawaii.

“We don’t want to reform entitlements [the Republican] way,” explained Brown. “We want to do things like lifting the cap.”

Brown is referring to the fact that Social Security taxes are only collected on the first $113,700 of your annual income. If you make more than that, it's tax-free, meaning the Social Security tax winds up being fairly regressive: The more money you make, the smaller a proportion of your income goes to Social Security. Phasing out that cap, as the Harkin plan proposes, would mean that people who make hundreds of thousands or even millions a year would still pay the same rate, but they’d pay it on all the money they make.

Removing the cap would create more money for Social Security benefits. To decide who gets that money, the Harkin plan would calculate cost-of-living increases using a specifically calculated consumer price index (CPI), called CPI-E, that takes into account that costs such as healthcare and housing tend to be higher for seniors. According to Harkin's office, the bill would “boost benefits for all Social Security beneficiaries by approximately $70 per month, but is targeted to help those in the low and middle of the income distribution.”

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(19,326 posts)
1. Good on Harkin. But I wish he'd stop using the E-word. It is disgusting and misleading.
Sat Nov 9, 2013, 11:30 PM
Nov 2013

Esp when referring to SS.

Response to 99th_Monkey (Reply #1)

Fla Dem

(24,300 posts)
4. what's the E word and why is it "disgusting and misleading".
Sun Nov 10, 2013, 10:18 AM
Nov 2013

I'm on SS so would like to understand the issue better. Thanks.


(56,582 posts)
5. People don't seem to like the word "entitlement"
Sun Nov 10, 2013, 10:23 AM
Nov 2013

Despite the fact that it means "payments that are legally set by a calculated formula", which is exactly what social security is. So are farm subsidies.


(30,947 posts)
7. In my opinion, SS is an entitlement.
Sun Nov 10, 2013, 12:45 PM
Nov 2013

I put money into it most of my life. I earned it and I am ENTITLED to receive it back.


(16,113 posts)
8. I wonder if the people who would be paying in a lot more money under this plan
Sun Nov 10, 2013, 12:53 PM
Nov 2013

will feel the same way, since it doesn't sound like they'll be getting most of it back.



(19,326 posts)
10. You've got a point there, however
Sun Nov 10, 2013, 01:38 PM
Nov 2013

that is not the inference when that term is used. Rather, the inference is
that poor people feel "entitled" to suck on Nanny State Tit their entire lives.


(8,303 posts)
14. Right - since when did "entitled" become a dirty word
Sun Nov 10, 2013, 08:32 PM
Nov 2013

"Entitled" means that under law, the beneficiary has a legal right to the payment. That's not a bad thing to say.

Getting the title to your car, or the deed to your home, means you are "entitled" in that property.


(10,732 posts)
9. When you pay into a system, you're entitled to receive benefits from it
Sun Nov 10, 2013, 01:04 PM
Nov 2013

I don't see any problem with the word, or in its applicability to social security. Letting the other side hijack language isn't thinking well.


(50,983 posts)
12. Social security is always spoken of in disparaging terms in the media.
Sun Nov 10, 2013, 07:12 PM
Nov 2013

Our side doesn't even get to say a word in social security's defense.


(4,517 posts)
13. I've been advocating exactly this since 2010.
Sun Nov 10, 2013, 08:15 PM
Nov 2013

Good to see someone else is on the same page. But with a do nothing house I don't see it amounting to much.

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