As Social Security once again becomes an important political issue, several proposals are before Congress to change the way Social Security works.
The last comes from Representative Angie Craig (D-MN), which has proposed eliminating taxes on Social Security benefits through legislation called the You Earned It, You Keep It Act.
The bill would eliminate what is described as “unfair double taxation on Social Security benefits” from the current system. The proposal “would repeal all federal taxation on Social Security benefits beginning in 2023, putting money directly into the pockets of middle-class retirees.”
The change would be paid for by “raising the cap for people earning more than $250,000 a year and asking them to continue contributing to Social Security each year.”
Current benefit levels would not be affected.
“Social Security is a promise we made to the American people – if you work hard and play by the rules, the dignity of a secure retirement will be within your reach. But taxing the very benefits American workers have earned after decades of work diminishes our promise and threatens to undermine the financial security of retirees already struggling with rising prices,” Rep. Craig said. “Eliminating this tax will help Social Security benefits go further and ensure that American retirees have all the resources they need after a lifetime of hard work.”
Social Security Works approved the proposal.
Craig’s Proposal was referred the Ways and Means Committee and the Energy and Commerce Committee.
Does the legislation have a chance of being passed? None of the Social Security reform proposals presented to the current Congress has gained much traction or specific approval from the White House or congressional leaders.
President Joe Biden did, on the occasion of Social Security “anniversary” in mid-August, issue a statement slamming Republicans for various proposals to change how Social Security works, which included references to Democrats’ efforts in Congress to expand the program.
“Listen, if you know me, you know I think rebuilding the middle class is the moral obligation of our time,” Biden said in that video message. “Social Security allows our seniors to retire with dignity, and I and my fellow Democrats on the hill are trying to protect and expand it.”
‘Republicans on the hill – they want to put it on the chopping block,’ the president said of Social Security, referring to Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) proposal to do everything Federation of Legislation sunset after five years.
“Let me ask you, have you ever seen Republicans on Capitol Hill do anything to protect, increase, or benefit Social Security?” Biden added.
Stephen Silver, technology writer for national interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who also contributes to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. Co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.