WASHINGTON, DC, Mar 21 — Blasting Congressional Democrats for offering a bill to hike Social Security taxes and cut benefits, Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens, called the proposal “just more income confiscation that does little to solve the financial crisis older Americans face when they retire.”
Weber said that on Friday over 50 Democrats cosponsored a bill that would hike payroll taxes for both employees and employers retroactive to January 1, 2015. “Similar to the way Obamacare was released, there were no public hearings preceding the introduction of the bill.”
“At a time when our economy is suffering and especially the young and the elderly are being hurt,” Weber added, “it makes no sense to tax workers more or cut benefits.”
“Just last week Senator Sanders (D-VT) said Social Security is not in financial trouble and that if someone says it is, ‘look them in the eye and say they are lying.’ Now that his own party wants to raise taxes to solve the Social Security problem, it’s Senator Sanders who has the credibility problem.”
In addition to the tax increase, the bill (HR 1391) would change the CPI index used to calculate annual increases to the CPI-E index, which would reduce the annual increases for all recipients based on the last 5 years of experience. It would also impose a further tax increase on “excess earnings” for higher income earners and new calculations would be used to figure monthly benefits for new retirees.
Meanwhile, the Trustees Annual Report says that legislation action must be taken to assure benefits are not cut, otherwise anyone on Social Security disability will suffer a 20% reduction in their checks at the end of 2016.
“The Democrats would take money from the Old Age Trust Fund to shore up the disability fund but, by itself, it would further weaken the Old Age Fund which is currently paying out 60 billion dollars a year more than it is taking in.”
Weber noted that two weeks ago AMAC held a Social Security Working Group meeting with members of Congress where the problem was discussed and solutions were proposed. He said that his organization proposed a bill that would guarantee Social Security without raising taxes, while adding a companion savings account (called an Early Retirement Account, ERA) to allow workers to have additional money at retirement.
“We have got to stop hitting workers with more taxes, this has turned into income confiscation”, Weber concluded.
NOTE TO EDITORS: Dan Weber is available for telephone interviews on this issue. Editors/reporters may contact John Grimaldi at 917-846-8485 or [email protected] to set up a call.
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