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Sat Nov 9, 2013, 11:24 PM

"A Booster Shot for Social Security"

A Booster Shot for Social Security

BY Sarah Jaffe at In These Times

http://inthesetimes.com/article/15844/lifting_the_cap_on_social_security/

"SNIP.................................


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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Response to applegrove (Original post)

Sat Nov 9, 2013, 11:30 PM

1. Good on Harkin. But I wish he'd stop using the E-word. It is disgusting and misleading.

 

Esp when referring to SS.

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Response to 99th_Monkey (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 10, 2013, 10:18 AM

4. what's the E word and why is it "disgusting and misleading".

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

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Response to Fla Dem (Reply #4)

Sun Nov 10, 2013, 10:23 AM

5. People don't seem to like the word "entitlement"

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.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #5)

Sun Nov 10, 2013, 12:35 PM

6. Yes, agree, if an E word has to be used, let's use Earned.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #5)

Sun Nov 10, 2013, 12:45 PM

7. In my opinion, SS is an entitlement.

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

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Response to RebelOne (Reply #7)

Sun Nov 10, 2013, 12:53 PM

8. I wonder if the people who would be paying in a lot more money under this plan

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

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Response to RebelOne (Reply #7)

Sun Nov 10, 2013, 01:38 PM

10. You've got a point there, however

 

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.

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Response to RebelOne (Reply #7)

Sun Nov 10, 2013, 08:32 PM

14. Right - since when did "entitled" become a dirty word

"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.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #5)

Sun Nov 10, 2013, 01:04 PM

9. When you pay into a system, you're entitled to receive benefits from it

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.

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Response to bhikkhu (Reply #9)

Sun Nov 10, 2013, 07:12 PM

12. Social security is always spoken of in disparaging terms in the media.

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

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Response to applegrove (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2013, 08:22 AM

3. Good. k&r n/t

-Laelth

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Response to applegrove (Original post)

Sun Nov 10, 2013, 08:15 PM

13. I've been advocating exactly this since 2010.

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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