(WASHINGTON) – United Steelworkers (USW) President Leo Gerard has released a letter supporting the introduction of Legislation by U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (Independent-Vermont) cosponsored by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Democrat-Nevada) to strengthen Social Security by making the Wealthiest Americans Pay the same Payroll Tax that nearly everyone else already pays.
U.S. Representative Peter DeFazio (Democrat-Oregon) introduced the Companion Bill in the House. The Legislation is titled: Keeping Our Social Security Promises Act of 2013.
“The United Steelworkers is proud to stand with you and support this vital Legislation to protect the integrity and longevity of our Nation’s Retirement System,” Gerard wrote. “Your Bill will make Social Security fully solvent for the next seventy-five years and do so without having to take the damaging actions some have so callously called for, such as Raising the Retirement Age, or Cutting Modest Benefits that often are the difference between a Retirement lived in Dignity or one Lived in Fear and Poverty.”
Senator Sanders announced the Bill at a press event in the U.S. Capitol late last week, saying: “Social Security is the Most Successful Government Program in our Nation's History. Through good times and bad, Social Security has paid out ‘every’ Benefit ‘owed’ to ‘every’ Eligible American. The most effective way to strengthen Social Security for the future is to Eliminate the Cap on the Payroll Tax on Income above two-hundred-and-fifty-thousand dollars so Millionaires and Billionaires pay the same share as everyone else.”
Reid said of Senator Sanders’ legislation: “His Legislation should make people think twice before assuming that the only way to strengthen Social Security is to take away Benefits that Seniors have earned or Raise Taxes on the Middle Class.”
Under their Legislation, those with Yearly Incomes of $250,000 or more would pay the same 6.2% Payroll Tax already assessed on those who earn up to $113,700 a year. Applying the Social Security Payroll Tax on income above $250,000 would only affect the Wealthiest 1.3% of Americans, according to the Center for Economic and Policy Research.
Since it was signed into Law 77 years ago, Social Security has kept millions Of Senior Citizens, Widows, Widowers, Orphans and the Disabled out of Poverty.
According to Senator Sanders, it is the Most Successful Government Program in our Nation's History and has not contributed to the Federal Deficit.
You can read the full bill here.
For a fact sheet, click here.
The USW support letter is at: www.usw.org/.