The “Social Security 2100 Act” provides a desperately needed dose of political sanity in the House, where the GOP leadership has devoted most of its energies in cutting benefits to seniors, certainly not strengthening them.
Here are some of the benefit improvements in this legislation:
- An across-the-board increase for all beneficiaries of about 2 percent, a change that is projected to yield an annual increase for the typical retiree of $300;
- Adoption of the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E) for the purpose of determining cost-of-living adjustments for Social Security beneficiaries;
- Tax relief for Social Security beneficiaries due to an increase in the threshold for taxation of Social Security benefits to $50,000 for individuals and $100,000 for joint filers, up from $25,000 and $32,000 respectively; and
- An increase in the special minimum benefit so that it equals up to 125 percent of the poverty level for an individual. This would be indexed in future years by increases in the average wage level prevailing in the national economy.
This legislation mirrors the approach supported by the vast majority of Americans, of all ages and political persuasions, who do not support cutting Social Security to pay down the deficit…even though that’s the only approach ever offered by conservatives in Congress these days.