2013-03-14 / News

Whitehouse continues to defend Social Security

U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse last week joined Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont in introducing a bill that will strengthen Social Security for future generations. The legislation would ensure that Social Security remains solvent for the next 50 years by asking the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share into the system.

“I have heard from countless Rhode Island seniors who rely on Social Security to make ends meet, and who want to make sure the program remains strong for future generations,” said Whitehouse. “This bill would keep Social Security strong for the next 50 years while also making our tax code fairer. It’s a true win-win, and I will fight hard to get it passed.”

Currently, Social Security is projected to remain solvent until 2033, and is funded by payroll taxes on income up to $113,700. Income above that threshold is currently exempted from the Social Security tax. As a result, all or most of the income from middleclass workers is subjected to the tax, while the vast majority of the income of the wealthiest Americans is exempted from the tax.

The act would eliminate the exemption for the Social Security tax on income above $250,000. Income between $113,700 and $250,000 would remain exempt from the tax. The bill is also cosponsored by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of New York.

Whitehouse has long been a leading champion of protecting Social Security. As a founding member of the Senate caucus aimed at defending the program, he has stood strong against efforts to privatize the program or cut benefits, and has argued for larger cost-of-living adjustments to increase benefits for seniors.

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