Rep. Larson engaging with the GOP to pass historic Social Security reform
Rep. John Larson (D-CT) has been working on Social Security issues for most of his 20 years in Congress. He cites the statistic of 125,000 Social Security recipients per congressional district to underscore the importance of the program. The Social Security Trustees predict insolvency in 2035, when everyone’s benefits would be cut 20% or more without action before then. To extend the solvency of Social Security, Larson has proposed The Social Security 2100 Act. Larson’s plan would boost benefits for lower income beneficiaries and raise the threshold where income tax kicks in on upper income earners; both measures would actually “cost” the Trust fund money over the longer term. The stumbling block, however, to making this a bipartisan bill that could gain significant GOP support has always been the increases in the 6.2% payroll tax for all workers and employers coupled with a new payroll tax on incomes above $400,000. Currently, only the first $132,900 is taxed with that amount amount increasing with inflation each year.
But, as Lorie Konish of CNBC writes in this piece, attitudes are softening among some Republicans in the House and Senate, and perhaps even in the White House. Larson has met twice with Ivanka Trump, the President’s daughter. Sen Susan Collins (R-ME) and Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) have both expressed interest in working with Larson to fix Social Security. Read Konish’s full piece here, which includes some discussion on how this issue could play on the 2020 campaign trail.
The Association of Mature American Citizens (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.