Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and colleagues have introduced a bill into the Senate entitled the “Social Security Expansion Act” (S.4365). This bill’s goal is to ensure funding and expansion of benefits for retirees and disabled persons. The proposed bill would:
• Fully fund and expand benefits for the next 75 years for retirees and disabled.
• Fully fund the programs by raising the current cap on how much income is taxed. Current cap is $147,000/year. The bill would change that so if a person earns over $250,000, all income would be taxed, including capital gains.
• Social Security benefits would be increased by $2,400 a year and the annual Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) would be changed to the elderly Consumer Price Index (CPI), which would more accurately reflect the cost of living of seniors.
It is estimated that 50% of senior citizens rely solely on Social Security benefits as their primary source of income. As a result many seniors live below the poverty line. Social Security benefits have helped to lift nearly 22million Americans above the poverty line, nearly 9% of those being senior citizens. In 2020 the average Social Security Disability Insurance Benefit was $1,454.00 and $1,636.00 for retired workers, depending on the individual’s lifetime earnings.
(Fast Facts & Figures About Social Security, 2021”, https://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/chartbooks/fast_facts/2021/fast_facts21; NOSSCR Forum, Vol 44, No. 6, June 2022; https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/senate-bill/4365/text).