Washington – Today, at the very same time that over 2 million petitions were signed and delivered to Republican leaders, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced a much-needed bill that would go a very long way towards strengthening and expanding Social Security.
The two million petitions were delivered to Senator Sanders and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) by the grassroots org, The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare. They are asking Congress to reject ongoing efforts to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits.
In a press release that was distributed to the news and also posted on Sanders Website, the Senator had this to say:
Social Security is the most successful government program in our nation’s history. Through good times and bad, Social Security has paid out every benefit owed to every eligible American,” Sanders said. “The most effective way to strengthen Social Security for the future is to eliminate the cap on the payroll tax on all income above $250,000 so millionaires and billionaires pay the same share as everyone else.
Republican lawmaker like House Budget Committee Chair Tom Price (R-GA) has been intent on gutting Social Security for the elderly and disabled since the 114th Congress took office. Nothing says I support you, vote for me, like going after injured workers while spouting fraud — when there is no evidence any significant fraud even exists.
Part of Senator Rand Paul’s (R-KY) dangerous plan is to up the age of your entitlement and make you work until your 70 before you can retire and collect Social Security. In the plan proposed by Paul along with Senators Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Lindsay Graham (R-SC), it includes capping taxes on those making an income of more than $118,500.00 and privatizing a solvent system that is now intact. We all know how well our private banks work or for profit defense contractors and insurance companies. Why not give it a try, hell it’s only your future the Republicans are stealing (and making a healthy buck off).
Republicans on the hill could care less about you and your well-being because your money doesn’t fund their super-packs nor buy them elections. In their delusional greedy minds Joe the bus driver should pay the same income tax as millionaires. It makes perfect sense if you’re a Republican who panders to the top 1.5 percent of wage earners while sticking the dagger into the hearts of those they took an oath to serve, you know, the dying middle-class and the poorest and sickest amongst us!
Today, Social Security is solvent until 2033. Sander’s plan would extend it until 2060 by raising taxes on the top 1.5 percent of wage earners.
Sanders bill would also:
- Increase Social Security benefits by about $65 a month for most recipients.
- Increase cost-of-living Adjustments for Social Security recipients.
- Provide a minimum Social Security benefit to significantly reduce the senior poverty rate.
Since 75% of Republican voters also want Social Security and Medicare left alone, it would behoove Senator Paul and his Republican colleagues to stop, listen and learn — something they have been unwilling to do thus far. Maybe 2 million voting signatures will change their minds.
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.