Elizabeth Warren’s Plan to Increase Social Security Benefits
While politicians of both parties are in agreement that the current Social Security program is in financial trouble, how to fix it is one of the most contentious issues in American politics. Our Social Security lawyers have worked tirelessly for almost half a century to ensure that California workers receive the benefits they have worked so hard for.
As the 2020 presidential campaign continues to ramp up, we will continue to report on all of the various front-running candidates strategies and plans for changing the country’s Social Security system. In this month’s article we take a look at Elizabeth Warren’s plan to expand Social Security.
(Note: this is an exploration of all presidential candidates’ plans for “fixing” Social Security, and is not an endorsement of a specific candidate.)
Elizabeth Warren’s Social Security Plan
In sharp contrast to the Trump Administration’s efforts to reduce Social Security benefits, presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren proposes a plan of higher benefits for all – relying on imposing higher taxes on some higher-income earners to finance the program.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., recently revealed her latest proposal extending larger Social Security benefits to some recipients, especially those in demographic groups with greater financial needs.
Elizabeth Warren’s Views Social Security
According to statistics released by Warren’s campaign, more than 7 million senior citizens are living under the poverty threshold. Fewer older Americans have sufficient retirement savings, while many seniors also have considerable debt to pay off. And, because the cost of living continues to rise – especially in key areas that impact seniors like health care and assisted housing – it’s impossible for many to make ends meet.
The Warren campaign also observes that younger workers will face even greater challenges. The skyrocketing cost of living, tough conditions in the labor market, and high student loan debt, Gen X and Millennial Americans can’t even achieve the financial security that their Baby Boomer parents did.
Yet, Social Security is facing a dire financial condition – with experts estimating that Social Security trust funds will run out of money in 2035 – resulting in potential benefit cuts of roughly 20%.
Specifics of Warren Social Security Plan
The Warren Social Security Plan is relatively simple. Every Social Security beneficiary – including both those collecting retirement and disability benefits – would get a $200 monthly increase.
And, some demographics would see even larger increases. For example, family caregivers would have the value of their work recognized for purposes of Social Security eligibility and benefit calculation. This is especially thought to benefit people of color, especially women. Also, disabled widows and widowers could claim survivor benefits earlier under the Warren Plan.
Additionally, calculating the cost of living adjustments (COLA) would be tailored to reflect the goods and services that older Americans typically have to pay (medical care, housing, etc.). And, Warren’s plan would reinstate special “minimum benefit rules” that would guarantee that the annual Social Security benefit was at least 125% of the federal poverty line.
Paying for the Warren Social Security Plan
In order to cover her proposed increases in Social Security benefits – and fix Social Security’s unstable finances – Warren proposes two new taxes:
#1. A 14.8% payroll tax on the wealthy who earn wages above $250,000 (employees pay 7.4% and employers match with 7.4%)
[This is above the 6.2% employee rate that applies to current wages up to $132,900 ]
#2. A 14.8% investment income tax for wealthy individual filers making more than $250,000 or wealthy joint filers above $400,000.
[This is in addition to the current 2.9% net investment income tax, based on the Medicare payroll tax withholding rate.]
Warren notes that the current payroll tax system for Social Security is “regressive” – charging no tax on earnings above the wage base limit. Her solution is based on her premise that the new taxes would simply be “asking the top 2% to contribute their fair share to the [Social Security] program.”
Future of Social Security
Regardless of which candidate wins in the 2020 election, our Social Security lawyers remain staunchly committed to protecting the rights of workers who deserve the benefits that they have paid into the Social Security system.
Our lawyers will continue to monitor EVERY candidates’ positions, and the proposed changes to Social Security laws, to help us protect and fight for every client’s benefits.
Long Beach Social Security Lawyers
If you or a loved one is unable to work due to a disabling injury, medical condition or disease our skilled and experienced Social Security Disability lawyers are here to help you get the maximum benefits for which you qualify.
The Law Office of Cantrell Green is a group of highly qualified and experienced Social Security Disability lawyers who have obtained millions of dollars in benefits for thousands of clients in Long Beach, Orange County and the greater Los Angeles. Our lawyers care about every client, and fight tirelessly to obtain the benefits you deserve.