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house Bill H.R. 1114

Should the Life of Social Security be Extended and Benefits Expanded by Raising Taxes?

Argument in favor

Extending Social Security’s solvency by increasing taxes on the wealthy is the fairest way to ensure that our country’s seniors can continue to rely on this program well into the future.

Leo's Opinion
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03/31/2017
I think the income cap should be eliminated. While this bill doesn't do that, it does raise the cap significantly.
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Marcia's Opinion
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04/01/2017
Eliminate the income cap and social security will live on forever.
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Hoya18's Opinion
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03/31/2017
time for everyone to pay their fair share. no more subsidizing the wealthy and investment bankers
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Argument opposed

There are better ways to reform Social Security to keep it solvent that don’t raise taxes, while also taking into account increased life expectancies.

Maurice's Opinion
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04/01/2017
Why not repay the money that was taken out of Social Security. Social Security is not an entitlement. It is a benefit that is bought and paid for by the workers themselves. It should not be used for anything other than Social Security. Congress should not be robbing Social Security (which they have been doing) to pay for other programs like welfare for illegal immigrants or to subsidize people that don't want to work. Let congress give up their pensions so that they can pay for their pet projects see how they like it.
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Theresa's Opinion
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03/31/2017
It's the hard working people's money. They already contributed. Stop the government from raiding the S.S. Funds ... to fund Mideast wars.
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YorEl's Opinion
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04/01/2017
I feel that the people should choose the way their taxes are allocated before we talk about raising the taxes. Presently, I don't like that 56% goes towards military spending, while only 2% goes to Medicare and Social Security.
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What is House Bill H.R. 1114?

This bill would amend title II of the Social Security Act -- which covers Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance -- in order to extend the life of the program by raising payroll taxes. The primary insurance amount would be increased for all eligible beneficiaries beginning in 2021, and the formula used to compute cost-of-living adjustments would be revised in order to use the Consumer Price Index for Elderly Consumers. There would also be an increase in the special minimum primary insurance amount by basing it on years in the workforce, in order to assist those who earned a low income throughout their lifetime.

The following changes to the Internal Revenue Code would be made:

  • Employment and self-employment taxes would be applied to income up to the contribution and benefit base, and to income in excess of $250,000. (Under current law, the maximum amount of annual income that can be subjected to the payroll tax that helps fund Social Security is $127,000 -- meaning that all income above that threshold is exempt from those taxes.)

  • Increase the tax on investment gain from 3.8 percent to 10 percent of the lesser of net investment income for a taxable year, or the excess (if any) of the modified adjusted gross income for a taxable year over the threshold amount.

  • Of this tax revenue, 62 percent would be allocated to the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund (OASI), while 9 percent would go towards the Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund (DI).

Impact

Taxpayers and senior citizens, the Social Security Administration.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 1114

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: This bill’s sponsor, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), introduced this bill on the day that millionaires stop paying into Social Security because they hit the tax cap at $127,000 in annual income:

"Millions of Americans -- including hundreds of thousands of Oregonians -- depend on the earned benefit of Social Security as their livelihood, yet congressional Republicans continue to play games with its funding. This legislation will protect this vital program from future attempts to dismantle it while expanding benefits to better meet the needs of our nation's seniors." 

As he did in the last Congress, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced this legislation in the Senate. This version of the bill currently has the support of 25 cosponsors, all of whom are Democrats.


Of Note: Given current projections, the Social Security trust funds would not be able to meet all of their obligations in 2033 -- when obligations would exceed incoming tax revenue -- and it would only be able to pay out about three-quarters of scheduled benefits. In an analysis of this legislation, the actuaries for the Social Security trust funds estimated that this proposal would allow the provision of full Social Security benefits through 2060.

There have been several other proposals that address Social Security’s future insolvency without raising taxes. Some of which would raise the retirement age, while others would suspend ‘overlapping benefits’ that allow people collecting disability payments and unemployment benefits.

The retirement age is already being gradually raised from 65 to 67 years old for full Social Security benefits, but 70 is the age often being used in proposals as raising the retirement age to 70 could save nearly $35 billion. Given that life expectancy for those who reach age 65 has grown from 77.2 years in 1930 to 84.1 years in 2010 while the retirement age remained essentially constant, that may be a realistic option.


The main threat to Social Security’s long-term survival comes from the shrinking ratio of workers to beneficiaries -- as the number of people in the workforce paying taxes to fund the program has declined relative to the number of people receiving benefits. In 1960, there were 5.1 workers for every Social Security beneficiary, by 2009 that number had dropped to 3 workers, and it is expected to fall to 2.2 workers in 2030.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Public Domain)

AKA

Social Security Expansion Act

Official Title

To enhance Social Security benefits and ensure the long-term solvency of the Social Security program.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Education and Labor
      Social Security
      Committee on Ways and Means
    IntroducedFebruary 16th, 2017
    I think the income cap should be eliminated. While this bill doesn't do that, it does raise the cap significantly.
    Like (310)
    Follow
    Share
    Why not repay the money that was taken out of Social Security. Social Security is not an entitlement. It is a benefit that is bought and paid for by the workers themselves. It should not be used for anything other than Social Security. Congress should not be robbing Social Security (which they have been doing) to pay for other programs like welfare for illegal immigrants or to subsidize people that don't want to work. Let congress give up their pensions so that they can pay for their pet projects see how they like it.
    Like (486)
    Follow
    Share
    It's the hard working people's money. They already contributed. Stop the government from raiding the S.S. Funds ... to fund Mideast wars.
    Like (303)
    Follow
    Share
    Eliminate the income cap and social security will live on forever.
    Like (262)
    Follow
    Share
    time for everyone to pay their fair share. no more subsidizing the wealthy and investment bankers
    Like (249)
    Follow
    Share
    Congress has "borrowed" money from the SS Trust Fund before and not repaid it. Had they returned the borrowed funds SS would be in much better shape.
    Like (178)
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    I feel that the people should choose the way their taxes are allocated before we talk about raising the taxes. Presently, I don't like that 56% goes towards military spending, while only 2% goes to Medicare and Social Security.
    Like (129)
    Follow
    Share
    Remove the cap on social security. I'd end up paying more in taxes but everyone should share the responsibility.
    Like (83)
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    Raise the cap aND require the wealthy to pay their fair share. Even better - elimited the cAP all together. Then require the govt to pay back all they borrowed. With interest.
    Like (74)
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    Interesting question that irritates the heck out of me. I am retired and I downloaded the 50 years of earnings from the My SSA website. I then calculated how much was contributed by taking each years income at 7.5% from me and 7.5% from my employer. This total is approximately $450,000. Now to be more irritated I created a simple worksheet to compound simple interest at 5% yearly. This total is $1,000,000. Before I ever agree to increasing taxes I want to know what the hell they did with my money!
    Like (73)
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    Although I'm sure there are many other places to find the money (the ungodly military budget for example) I always will pay taxes happily and willingly for things that actually benefit people that need them.
    Like (58)
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    of course it should be extended and we need to do whatever that takes. Very few of us are millionaires or billionaires.
    Like (47)
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    There needs to be a provision that makes it illegal for the federal government to borrow from SS. That alone would add to its coffers, especially if the debt already owed were to be paid back.
    Like (46)
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    Not until Congress puts back the money it "borrowed" for war.
    Like (46)
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    This is the worst Congress in history along with the worst President in history . Congress has become so partisan it is ridiculous! The Freedom Caucus members are so self centered and so far to the right they have become another political party of themselves! They have an agenda that does not care about the citizens! The money that members of Congress receives to vote for there special interest groups is asinine!! These people forget how they got to Congress. They work for the citizens that elected them not their party and not private interest and special interests groups! I am tired of this Congress doing nothing!! This president is so very dangerous but the republicans sit back and do nothing to stop the IDIOT!! We need a Federal Government that works for us not private and special interests groups!!
    Like (34)
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    Cut military spending, divert the funds to Social Security.
    Like (26)
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    READ MY LIPS: NOT ONLY NO, BUT HELL NO! CONGRESS MUST CLOSE THE UNCONSTITUTIONAL AGENCIES AND RETURN THE POWER TO THE STATES! AND ALL YOU CONGRESS CRITTERS NEED TO GO TO SPENDERS ANONYMOUS! QUIT STEALING FROM SOCIAL SECURITY AND PAY BACK WHAT YOU HAVE STOLEN FROM IT!
    Like (25)
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    I don't believe this is the right answer, rather another twisted bill to play to people's fear. Stop borrowing from SS, payback what has been borrowed and eliminate the cap. If I only get one of my 3 wishes, eliminate the income cap. Otherwise this will be another ruse to tax the middle class and lower income American's already footing the bill for too many rich entitlements.
    Like (24)
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    Stop using Social Security money for other things and pay back the billions of dollars you have taken out of the fund and it will be stable just like it is!!
    Like (22)
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    How about stop raiding the funds that support this and pretending that the program is an entitlement.
    Like (20)
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