AMAC On Capitol Hill / Money / Politics

AMAC Reviews “Social Security 2100 Act”

social security act stopgap-first-amendment left conservatives violence federal employees fired cause senate republicansSocial Security and its solvency have long been a top concern for AMAC – Association of Mature American Citizens and its nearly 2 million members. Long thought of as a political “third rail,” it is encouraging to see politicians in Washington attempting to address Social Security’s financial viability. Representative John Larson (D – Conn.) has put forth “Social Security 2100 Act,” a comprehensive bill designed to strengthen the benefit for years.

Unfortunately, this bill swings and misses. First, Larson’s bill increases the payroll tax on all workers and disproportionately affects lower wage earners. According to Charles Blahous, a former Social Security and Medicare trustee and current Senior Research Strategist at the Mercatus Center, “low income wage earners payroll tax burdens would rise 19%” with the overall payroll tax burden increasing by over 40% over time. Lower income people who may pay no income tax would not be able to escape the payroll tax that everyone who draws a paycheck must remit.

Also, much of that 19% increase on lower income workers would be used to finance expanded benefits for higher income workers. Blahous continues “under current-law, benefits for a retiree in 2050 with earnings of twice the current-law taxable maximum are scheduled to be a full 51% higher than what’s paid to today’s high-income retiree, adjusted for inflation. Most mainstream analysts believe that this benefit growth needs to be moderated, at least for higher-income workers, to protect Social Security’s finances.” Larson’s bill “would actually increase this growth still further, to 66% by 2050.”

Blahous also uncovered errors in the bill’s method for price inflation that would cause benefit overpayments. Larson’s bill also does not address the fact that Americans are living longer and appreciating more time in retirement. While this is good news, Blahous says that “spending larger fractions of our lengthening lives in retirement reduces the annual income levels we can enjoy, or it increases the funding burdens we face as workers, or both. The Social Security 2100 Act fails to address this growing problem. By 2050, average beneficiaries would spend over 37% of their adult lives collecting Social Security benefits, straining retiree and worker incomes alike.”

AMAC has made Social Security’s solvency a priority since the organization’s inception in 2007. AMAC, working with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, including utilizing portions of bills proposed by former Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX) and current Rep. Larson and combining them with the association’s own well-researched data has crafted a free-market solution. AMAC’s plan, the Social Security Guarantee, assures the benefit’s solvency for generations without raising taxes and includes a savings component, the Social Security Plus. This savings mechanism would allow for all earners to have significant nest eggs available to them at retirement.

Before considering tax increases, AMAC advocates that Congress implement key structural reforms like those proposed in the Social Security Guarantee and evaluate their efficacy for long-term solvency. If after a five-year evaluation period additional tax increases are needed to financially stabilize Social Security, the Commissioner may accordingly advise the benefit’s Trustees and the President.

Part of the equation to achieve Social Security solvency in AMAC’s plan is to make an adjustment for newly retired, higher wage-earning workers by tying their benefit’s growth to the rate of inflation, which is lower than the average wage index the Social Security Administration currently uses for its calculations.

Over the past several years, AMAC has had productive discussions with lawmakers, including members of powerful congressional committees, regarding Social Security’s sustainability and how the Social Security Guarantee can improve and perpetuate it. The preservation of this benefit is vital to keeping the promise made not only to workers over eight decades ago, but to the future wage earners of America — our children and grandchildren.

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Larry Nichols

How about untaxing social security

WatrGrrl

My concern with a Social Security Plus program is that, again, Democrats and RINOS would again change the laws and raid it for their pork programs, their mistresses and high-flying lifestyles.

Catherine Devoll

I agree with Larry Nichols. Our Social Security benefits should not be taxed! We’ve already paid taxes on our contributions as they were taken out of our pay checks post-tax. This is double taxation! This was implemented under Clinton and should have never happened. Also, stop giving benefits to immigrants who have never contributed. Americans who have never contributed can’t collect. This is absurd and was implemented under Carter. The government should put the money back in the social security fund that was illegally taken out and put in the general fund.

retired

How does Social Security disability affect the social security trust fund? As I understand it, children with ADHD are signed up for SS disability. In addition foreign immigrants who are not citizens and have limited income are signed up for some type of social security benefit. How does this affect the SS trust fund? The other issue that I have seen are workers that are convinced that they can claim SS disability for their injuries. But virtually all of these folks are not told that for example a low back disability is only 18% of the total body, and therefore they only get 18% of their former pay. However, they also have to give up 1/3 of that to unscrupulous attorneys and 1/3 to attorney’s expenses, so they wind up with 6% of their former income. IF they knew that in advance they would never claim disability. How can we… Read more »

Jack

There’s no need to worry about Social Security if Medicare For All gets implemented. You won’t live long enough to get it.

DesertJAM

Why am I not entitled to social security? I am an educator so I will receive a pension from my state. But what about those years when, as a military family, we transferred numerous times and I worked in other Areas. I paid into SS for 12 years and will get nothing! Double dipping they call it.

Ada Fancher

I’m sorry you guys are lost social security needs a hauling over from top to bottom let me tell you something when you’re a widow and your income is cut most of the time in half but you’re Bills aren’t and they expect you to pay those bills and seniors are being put out on the street or forced to move we’re they don’t want to go that should be one of your top priority’s I’m sick and tired of the seniors getting ripped off and cheated and it seems none of these so called senior organizations give a damm about the real issue a lot of talk and no action and your choice go back to work till you die on the job you’re all sorry sacks with no guts to touch on real issues and believe me I’m not the only one that feels this way why don’t… Read more »

Ada Fancher

Yeah you took mine down you sorry sacks afraid for other seniors to read it no guts

Daryl

I haven’t seen a proposal that would suggest 3 things: 1) since we have a longer life expediency than when the program was 1st adopted, why not increase the retirement age accordingly? Age 62 – seriously. why not 68 or 70? This would improve things significantly. 2) Allow people to collect Social Security and continue to work. We have significant shortages of skilled people in key areas globally. Why not allow them to start collecting and continue working. The Teachers Union is already doing this for years. 3) Allow me to pick my retirement age instead of the current mandatory dispersement ages. Again, these ages should have been increased along with the average life expectancy ages or done away with entirely.