By: James Michael Pryor
Bernie Sanders vs. Hillary Clinton on Social Security– What Millennials and younger voters should know: According to Hillary Clinton’s past stands on Social Security, in April of 2008, she was against lifting the cap on payroll taxes because she said it would be a tax on the “middle-class”. But lifting or eliminating the cap would only increase Social Security taxes on those in the top 5% income bracket and wouldn’t have taxed the middle-class one more penny. Hillary had no idea who the “middle-class” even was. Didn’t she know that 50% of all wage earners take home $28,000 or LESS every year? Senator Bernie Sanders knows.
But that was in 2008. Last year in August of 2014 Hillary said she might consider some sort of a payroll cap increase, but she was very wishy-washy and non-committal on the issue (and that might be because she didn’t want to raise taxes on billionaires. She only went as far as saying that she wouldn’t “privatize” Social Security — and that she might consider “means-testing” for reducing Social Security benefits for higher-income retirees (like herself).
But unlike Hillary, Senator Bernie Sanders (and others) have taken a much more stronger stance. And Bernie Sanders has an actual “PLAN” — whereas most other presidential candidates have nothing at all — they just offer shallow ideas, temporary solutions and meaningless opinions. They show no real concern or commitment. But Bernie Sanders does.
Bernie has introduced legislation that would make the wealthiest Americans pay the same share of their income into Social Security as other wage earners. That change would fully fund the retirement program through 2065. Under his measure, the average monthly benefit would increase by $65 a month, and cost-of-living adjustments would more accurately measure inflation for seniors — and the minimum benefit would be raised to lift millions of “old people” out of poverty — and keeping young people today out of poverty tomorrow when it’s their turn to retire.
A new study prepared by U.S. Government Accountability Office on behalf of Senator Bernie Sanders found that more than half of all American households with someone 55 or older have no retirement savings — and that four in 10 retirees are very concerned about not having enough income to get by. The GAO report found that poverty rates are higher for people approaching retirement age. Altogether, 52 percent of households with someone 55 and older have no savings. Without Social Security, 43 percent of seniors 65 and older would be thrown into poverty.
Bernie said, “This report makes it clear that there is a retirement crisis in America today. At a time when half of all older workers have no retirement savings, we need to expand, not cut, Social Security benefits so that every American can retire with dignity. Social Security is the most successful program in our nation’s history. At a time of massive wealth and income inequality, we have got to demand that the richest people in this country pay their fair share.”
Bernie also noted that every year, the federal government spends $68 billion on retirement savings incentives that almost all end up in the pockets of the wealthiest Americans.
The Alliance for Retired Americans released its annual report detailing the voting record of every U.S. Representative and Senator on issues important to current and future retirees. Bernie Sanders scored 100%.. As Mother Jones noted, 79 percent of Americans support the idea. Another poll on Bernie’s Sanders’ website shows 95% “believe that Social Security should be expanded” and 94.3% “believe the wealthiest Americans should pay the same share of their income into Social Security as everyone else.”
So where does Hillary Clinton stand on shoring up the Social Security disability trust fund, eliminating the cap for Social Security taxes, expanding benefits for seniors, re-adjusting the COLAs, and raising the age again to qualify for Social Security?
We all know EXACTLY how Bernie Sanders feels.