Elizabeth Warren & Social Security
Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Social Security plan is out, and though it has not been “scored” by actuaries, one estimate is that it would extend the life of the Social Security Trust fund by only 20 years. That is far short of restoring 75-year solvency, the sort of gold standard approach from Rep. John Larson’s Security 2100 Act and former Rep. Sam Johnson’s bill in late 2016. The former relies heavily on tax increases while the latter plan cut some benefits and gradually raised the retirement age. Warren’s plan expands benefits to include a $200-per-month increase for all recipients, a more generous index for cost-of-living adjustments, and a new caregiver credit among several other benefit-enhancing provisions. Further, it provides more administrative funding to hire staff and keep offices open. Earnings above $250,000 would be hit with a 14.8 percent payroll tax, and the same rate would be placed on the investment income on the top 2% of earners. Read Alicia Munnell’s opinion piece in MarketWatch here.
The Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC) takes a different approach. AMAC believes Social Security must be preserved and modernized. This can be achieved by making modest changes in cost of living adjustments and the retirement age, with no additional taxes on workers. AMAC advocates for a bipartisan compromise, “The Social Security Guarantee Act,” taking selected portions of bills introduced by former Rep. Johnson (R-TX) and current Rep. Larson (D-CT) and merging them with the Association’s own well researched ideas. One component is Social Security PLUS, a new, voluntary plan that would allow all earners to have more income available at retirement. This component is intended to appeal especially to younger workers. AMAC is resolute in its mission that Social Security be preserved and modernized and has gotten the attention of lawmakers in DC, meeting with a great many congressional offices and their staffs over the past several years. Read AMAC’s plan here.