Many Americans have found it difficult to afford petrol, food, and other necessities due to inflation, but seniors living on fixed Social Security benefits have been hit particularly hard.
A newly proposed measure would increase recipients’ Social Security payouts by $200 per month, or $2,400 yearly, to address the shortfall that many seniors are suffering.
Last week, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) proposed the Social Security Expansion Act, which aims to increase payments and build a safety net in order to keep Social Security sustainable until 2096.
“Our mission is not to slash Social Security at a time when half of older Americans have no retirement savings and millions of senior folks are living in poverty,” Sanders said.
Once a year, Social Security recipients receive a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), which will increase by 5.9% in 2022. However, that rise may not be enough to keep up with this year’s increasing inflation figures.
The consumer price index increased by 8.6% in May compared to the same month last year, marking the highest increase in the cost of consumer essentials in four decades.
The bill also comes in the wake of the Social Security Administration’s dire forecast that the program’s coffers will run out by 2035.
The bill would support Social Security by boosting taxes on the wealthy.
“A multibillionaire pays the same amount into Social Security as someone earning $147,000 a year,” Sanders remarked last week. High-income earners now pay no additional Social Security tax on earnings over $147,000.
The plan would raise the income tax threshold, but DeFazio claims that the additional taxes would only affect the country’s top 7% of incomes.
“As a professional gerontologist, I’ve dedicated my career to protecting and extending services that are critical to elders,” DeFazio said in a statement announcing the bill.
“Protecting Social Security, which millions of Americans rely on, including hundreds of thousands of Oregonians, is one of my top objectives. With the cost of living at an all-time high, Social Security is more crucial than ever, yet Republicans in Congress continue to play games with its budget.”
The law would also reinstate payments that were cut in 1983 for full-time students whose parents are disabled or have died.
Republicans on Capitol Hill are already opposing the proposed legislation.
- States To Send Payments In June, According To The Stimulus Check
- Is It True That Stimulus Checks Caused Inflation? Many people believe that stimulus checks caused inflation. Is this true?
- The Coin Center has filed a lawsuit against the US Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for an unconstitutional digital currency tax reporting rule
Senators Mitt Romney and Lindsey Graham, among others, have dubbed the idea a non-starter for every Republican member of Congress.
Graham agreed that additional revenue is needed for Social Security to stay afloat, but he added, “If you think taxing the wealthy would save Social Security, you’re wrong.”
Romney believes that any attempt to save Social Security without bipartisan support will fail.
Experts on the viability of Social Security warn that immediate action is required to ensure that the benefit is preserved for future generations.