Newsflash:
Friday, 08 March 2013 01:46

Sanders, Reid, DeFazio Introduce Legislation to Strengthen Social Security

Written by  Office of Senator Bernie Sanders | Vermont

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today introduced legislation cosponsored by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to strengthen Social Security by making the wealthiest Americans pay the same payroll tax that nearly everyone else already pays.

Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) introduced the companion bill in the House. He joined Sanders at a news conference in the Capitol to discuss their bill to bolster Social Security without raising the retirement age or lowering benefits.

“Social Security is the most successful government program in our nation's history. Through good times and bad, Social Security has paid out every benefit owed to every eligible American,” Sanders said. “The most effective way to strengthen Social Security for the future is to eliminate the cap on the payroll tax on income above $250,000 so millionaires and billionaires pay the same share as everyone else.”

Reid said, “I want to thank Sen. Sanders for his outstanding leadership in support of Social Security and the millions of Americans who rely on the program.  His legislation should make people think twice before assuming that the only way to strengthen Social Security is to take away benefits that seniors have earned, or raise taxes on the middle class.”

DeFazio added, “Despite the hype, Social Security is not now, and never was, the cause of our deficit. Those spreading these false claims are the same people who have for years been working with Wall Street to privatize the program. We shouldn’t cut benefits or try to balance the budget on the backs of seniors who have earned these benefits. We can just close a tax loophole that allows millionaires and billionaires to pay a lower percentage of their income into Social Security than everyone else.”

In addition to Majority Leader Reid, the Senate measure is cosponsored by Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D.-R.I.), Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.).

Under their legislation, those with yearly incomes of $250,000 or more would pay the same 6.2 percent payroll tax already assessed on those who earn up to $113,700 a year. Applying the Social Security payroll tax on income above $250,000 would only affect the wealthiest 1.3 percent of Americans, according to the Center for Economic and Policy Research.  Social Security officials say that simple change would yield about $85 billion a year to keep the retirement program strong for at least another 50 years.

The legislation is based on a proposal that President Barack Obama made in 2008 during his first campaign for the White House. (Watch the video.)

Since it was signed into law 77 years ago, Social Security has kept millions of senior citizens, widows, widowers, orphans, and the disabled out of poverty. Before Social Security, about half of senior citizens lived in poverty. Today, less than 10 percent live in poverty and more than 55 million Americans receive retirement or disability benefits.

The most successful government program in our nation's history has not contributed to the federal deficit. It has a $2.7 trillion surplus, and it can pay out every benefit owed to every eligible American for at least the next 20 years, according to the Social Security Administration.

To read the bill, click here.

For a fact sheet, click here.

Read 5549 times

Trans Pacific Partnership Fast Track - Where Does Your Legislator Stand

Click your state to see your Senators and Representatives

Green = Most Legislators Oppose Fast Track, Yellow = Some Opposition, Orange = Oppose TPP, Gray = Unknown
DeLauro 13 - Signed 2013 DeLauro/Miller letter
Pocan - Signed Freshman Letter Opposing Fast Track
W/M - Signed Ways and Means Letter opposing TPP
Gibson - Signed Rep. Chris Gibson letter opposing TPP
SOPA - Oppose Stop Online Piracy Act - voted against
Currency - Oppose Currency Manipulation (Signed Michaud Letter)
Textile - Oppose changes to "First Yarn" (Signed Textile Industry Letter)

PDA In Your State

Join "Countdown to Coverage" Share TPP with your Daily Newspaper

CWA devised a simple plan for which they were uniquely suited: drag TPP out of the shadows and into the light - one city at a time - using a medium they understand intimately: Daily Newspapers!

Two CWA members - Dave Felice in Denver, CO and Madelyn Elder in Portland, OR have started the ball rolling. We just need to keep up the momentum leading up to a big day of petition deliveries in January.

Button-ShareTPPWithNewspaper

Step 1 is to send an Op-Ed to your Daily Newspaper.

Sign the Petition - Sen. Sanders Run as a Democrat in 2016

Button-SandersPetition

Sign the TPP Fast Track Petitions

MoveOn.org Petition - Congress Don't Renew Fast Track

Pulic Citizen Petition - Congress Must Reject Fast Track Authority

MoveOn.org Petition - Stop the Trans Pacific Partnership

CREDO Petition - Stop the Massive Corporate Power Grab

 

Hand Deliver a Letter to your Senators or Representative on the TPP

If your Senator(s) and/or Representative is not currently opposed to Fast Track, they may not completely understand all the implications. Nothing sends a stronger message to a Congressional member than a personal visit to a district office by a voter with a written request. Phone calls and emails are incredibly important but nothing gets attention like a personal visit. Our Educate Congress page has information and a sample letter. Print the letter, sign it, deliver it.

Button-HandDeliver

Lori Wallach on the TPP from PDA Progressive Roundtable

Progressive Roundtable with Reps. Ellison and Pocan and Lori Wallach on TPP

TPP: The Biggest Threat to the Internet You've Probably Never Heard Of