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Sanders Introduces Bill to Boost Social Security

Bernie Sanders wants to introduce a flat tax rate for Social Security payments, in order to ensure that the program is well-funded by all Americans, including the wealthy.

The Hill reports:

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is rolling out legislation to bolster Social Security payments and make high-income earners pay more into the retirement system.

“Anyone who tells you Social Security is going broke is lying,” Sanders said. “We can increase Social Security benefits for millions of Americans and extend the life of Social Security if we have the political will to tell the wealthiest Americans to pay the same rate as everyone else.”

The legislation would increase Social Security benefits by about $1,300 annually for seniors who make less than $16,000, while boosting the amount of taxes paid by high-income earners by subjecting incomes above $250,000 to payroll taxes.

Sanders argued that his proposal has an “overwhelming majority” of support in both parties, pointing to an Oct. 2016 Public Policy Polling survey that found that 72 percent of Americans support increasing the entitlement program.

Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) is introducing a House version of the bill.

Social Security’s trust fund is currently expected to be solvent through 2034, after which it is expected to only be able to pay roughly 79 percent of benefits.

Sanders’s legislation would extend its solvency through 2078, according to a report from the Social Security Administration. The legislation would also increase monthly payments for most beneficiaries by $43 per month starting at age 80 and $73 at age 90, according to a breakdown of the bill from Sanders’s office.

Sanders blasted President Trump from the Senate floor on Wednesday night, arguing that picking budget hawk Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) to be his budget chief was out of line with Trump’s campaign pledge not to cut Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security.

“Now, if President Trump or candidate Trump had run his campaign by saying, ‘I’m going to cut your Social Security benefits if elected president,’ well, you know what? Congressman Mulvaney would have been the exact person that he should bring forth as [Office of Budget and Management] director,” he said.

Photo credit: CNN/Screenshot.

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