Is Sen. Warren trying to turn an earned benefit into a welfare program?
John Cogan, senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution and author of “The High Cost of Good Intentions: A History of Federal Entitlement Programs,” pens this op-ed in The Wall Street Journal highly critical of Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s plans for Social Security. Cogan believes Warren’s plan to give every current and future Social Security recipient an added $2,400 a year, at a cost more than $150 billion annually, with a 14.8% tax on “the rich” is election year pandering, the sort that Franklin Roosevelt and previous Congresses have often worried about. He notes just 7% of 46 million senior citizens receiving Social Security live below the poverty line. Thus Warren’s plan would benefit middle and upper income retirees most. Cogan also points out that, “the average monthly benefit for someone retiring this year is nearly 50% higher than it was nearly 50 years ago, after adjusting for inflation. The median inflation-adjusted income of U.S. families has increased by only 30% during that time.” Read his full op-ed 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.