Friday, February 1, 2019

Rep. John Larson thinks the third time will be the charm in his effort to expand Social Security benefits and prolong the program’s solvency.

With more than 200 Democratic sponsors in the House, the Social Security 2100 Act would increase Social Security benefits for all recipients, providing the biggest boost to those who are now receiving the smallest benefits, and would establish a more generous cost-of-living adjustment.

Larson’s bill would also raise the cap on tax-free Social Security benefits, to $50,000 for individuals and $100,000 for married couples.“Social Security does need some updating,” said co-sponsor Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Calif “Benefits have not kept up with the cost-of-living.”In the Senate, Sens. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., have sponsored a companion bill.But to pay for the more generous benefits, the Social Security 2100 Act contains tax increases, something that poses a political challenge in the Senate, which is controlled by Republicans. Many Republicans have taken a “no new taxes” pledge.

Currently, Americans pay Social Security taxes only on the first $132,900 they earn. Larson’s bill would leave income between $132,900 and $400,000 untaxed.  But wages that exceed $400,000 would, for the first time, be subject to Social Security taxes.Larson’s plan would also slowly increase – over a 24-year period —  the Social Security tax paid jointly by  workers and their employer, from the current 6.2 percent to 7.4 percent of person’s wages.
Read more in the CT Mirror

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