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Democratic Rep Proposes Legislation To Increase Social Security Benefits

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In an op-ed published by The Hill, Democratic Rep. John Larson of Connecticut laid out his plan to increase social security benefits without contributing at all to the national deficit.

In the piece, Larson highlighted the key points of the Social Security 2100 Act, new legislation put forth by he and 60 of his colleagues. According to Larson, the Social Security 2100 Act would “shore up Social Security for future generations without needlessly slashing benefits for people,” as well as “increase benefits across the board.”

“The Social Security 2100 Act keeps the system solvent for the next 75 years and beyond, according to the independent analysis of the Social Security Administration’s chief actuary, and does so without cutting benefits or contributing a dime to the deficit,” he wrote. 

The legislation included a proposal for those making over $400,000 a year to begin contributing to Social Security, as America's wealthiest individuals only pay social security taxes on the first $118,500 of their annual income. 

“To put it another way, LeBron James has made his yearly contribution to Social Security by about lunchtime on New Year’s Day,” Larson said.

Another way that Larson’s legislation would keep social security alive without affecting the deficit is by slowly increasing the contributions made by employees and employers.

“Over the span of 25 years, it would mean an additional 0.05 percent each year,” he wrote. “A worker making $50,000 a year would pay an additional 50 cents per week each year to Social Security.”

According to Larson, both provisions — costing middle class workers “less than a cup of coffee each month” — would “keep Social Security solvent through the end of the century.”

Larson’s bill garnered support from Democrats throughout Congress, including Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, who introduced it in the Senate.

“The real genius of this proposal is that it comprehensively solves the challenges to Social Security,” Blumenthal said earlier this year. “It is a smart, targeted and positive way to make sure Social Security is truly secure for the next 75 years and that the burdens are allocated fairly.''

Larson concludes his op-ed by explaining the importance of Social Security:

Let’s get something straight: Social Security is not an entitlement program. It’s the insurance you’ve paid for paycheck after paycheck. The benefits Social Security provides for retirees, the disabled, survivors, spouses and dependents would simply be unavailable on the private market. If some calamity or misfortune strikes — a grievous injury, a tragic death — you deserve the peace of mind that you are part of a larger family: the United States of America. 

Social Security is the full faith and credit of the United States government, and we the people guarantee that credit. We the people built this program together, and together, we the people will ensure its future for generations to come.

Sources: The Hill, Hartford Courant

Photo Credit: Medill DC/Flickr, AFGE/Flickr


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