Mazie Hirono Aims to Strengthen and Expand Social Security
The financial outlook for Social Security is not good. An annual government report released on Tuesday on the status of the program painted a dire portrait of its solvency, revealing that Social Security is on a path to becoming insolvent in 2035, with only enough money to cover about 80% of its obligations. Earlier this month, before the latest report was issued, Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) introduced legislation she said would strengthen the Social Security program by restoring fairness in contributions while increasing benefits for seniors and other beneficiaries. “Social Security is the cornerstone of retirement and a safety net for millions of families who rely on the program every day to survive,” Hirono said. Congress must “ensure that seniors and others who rely on this critical program receive the benefits they deserve,” she continued. Most Americans contribute 6.2% of their paychecks to Social Security. However, high-income earners stop paying into the Social Security program once they have hit the annual contributions cap on maximum taxable earnings, which is $132,900 for 2019. Hirono’s bill, the Protecting and Preserving Social Security Act, would gradually phase out this contributions cap for high-income earners over the next seven years until everyone pays into the program at the same rate for the entire year. Hirono’s squad on this bicameral legislation included Senators Tina Smith (D-MN), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Congressman Ted Deutch (D-FL). Again, Hirono’s bill came out before the forecast of the program painted a dire view of its future. More here.