Progressive groups planning Social Security push
July 24th, 2013
12:35 PM ET
7 years ago

Progressive groups planning Social Security push

(CNN) – A coalition of progressive groups claiming to represent millions of Americans is planning a multi-state effort urging the expansion of Social Security benefits.

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) and Democracy For America (DFA say they will be joined by several other groups including in putting out a series of TV and online ads planned for the near future.

A petition is already posted on the PCCC's website where signers can urge Congress to expand Social Security.

The petition and ad campaign are meant to bolster twin bills in the U.S. Senate proposed by Democrats Mark Begich of Alaska and Tom Harkin of Iowa.

An email sent to the progressive coalition's supporters claims the bills would give Social Security beneficiaries an additional $452 per year by age 75 and $807 per year by 85.

The bill would also eliminate the cap on how much of individuals' earnings can be paid into Social Security. Currently, Social Security contributions are limited to the first $113,000 of income.

Eliminating that cap is aimed at making the wealthy "pay their fair share," the email says.

Social Security has been on the Congressional backburner in recent months.

Any attempt at expanding so-called entitlements is likely to draw a swift rebuke from Republicans who've resisted any and all additional spending. Republicans will soon be fighting a planned Democratic push to raise the government debt ceiling when Congress returns from its August recess.

A move to increase the income cap paid into Social Security will almost certainly face just as much backlash, as it's seen as a tax increase.

Harkin will be retiring at the end of this term, his fifth in the Senate. Begich on the other hand faces a stiff reelection fight in a Republican-leaning state.

Filed under: Congress • Mark Begich • Senate • Social Security • Tom Harkin
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. sonny chapman

    "Social Security will ruin the American Economy"-Repubs.,1936. "Minimum Wage will ruin the American Economy"-Repubs.-1920. "Medicare will ruin the American Economy"-Repubs.,1965. "Obamacare will ruin the American Economy"-Repubs.,2009. How many strikes do Repubs. get before they're OUT?

    July 24, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  2. 82ndABNVET

    How do you plan on paying for this? How are you going to keep even the current system running?

    July 24, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  3. the facts is the facts

    Yet another class warfare scam by the leftist Democraps. Social Security along with all the other entitlements are going bankrupt and they want to find more ways to take money from people and give it to others who did not earn it or contribute it. Democraps want to turn every government program into a welfare program.

    July 24, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  4. Fair is Fair

    "The bill would also eliminate the cap on how much of individuals' earnings can be paid into Social Security. Currently, Social Security contributions are limited to the first $113,000 of income. Eliminating that cap is aimed at making the wealthy "pay their fair share," the email says."
    The reason the wages are capped is because the benefit is capped. Unless you remove the benefit cap and NEVER EVER attempt to bring in "means" testing, what this group is really trying to say is that in addition to paying for other people's food, housing, utilities, healthcare, education, and spending money, the "wealthy" should also pay for their retirement. "Fair share" my u-know-what. That's just plain redistributive thievery.

    July 24, 2013 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  5. S.B. Stein

    I agree that the cap should be removed. Those wealthy sports players that get huge bonuses for signing on with a team? That should have a percentage go to Social Security as well as Medicare and Medicaid. The list could go on. I don't think that these people are going to call for the restriction on upper income recipients for Social Security; Medicare should have some criteria for means testing.

    July 24, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  6. patNY

    There is a good argument to lift the Soc. Sec. income cap as it will keep the program solvent and able to pay out full benefits. BUT....
    There is an equally good argument against lifting the cap, based on the fact that many people have and will be contributing to SS during their working lives far more than they will receive in their retirement years. This actually supports a hybrid SS program that allows people to invest all or part of their SS contributions in private accounts. And, this is coming from a Democrat.

    July 24, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  7. Downhill We Go

    Democrats continued destruction of America off the backs of the working class. Sure – let's give more to those that fail to contribute to society. Let the 52% that pay taxes support those that choose not too. I love watching my money support the drinking/smoking habits of the stay-at-homes who can afford tattoos, iPhones, and $200 shoes but not food. Lovely. Sure, I know some poster will state this is Soc. Sec. not food stamps. Same concept – we already give Soc. Sec. to those that never paid a dime into the system.

    July 24, 2013 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  8. TONE

    Why when it comes to the middle class it is always the question how are we going to pay for this, but when it came to the two tax cuts for the rich, and two wars unpaid for by bush i do not here the same question? is it me or republicans are just blatantly hypocritical.

    July 24, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  9. Marie MD

    @ haters, entitlement is something you are given without doing anything (think our present rethug/tea troll congress). If you have ever received a paycheck you are putting money into the system so that you can, as most seniors do, live with as little as possible in your old age. The motto f the repugs is you retire or get sick, then die!
    We are not all lucky enough, like congress, to receive daily perks while in office or a hefty pension and free medcal insurance after you leave that job that you don't deserve!

    July 24, 2013 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  10. TONE

    @Downhill We Go
    the only party that is destroying America is the republican party obstruction after obstruction after obstruction.

    July 24, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  11. Donna

    This is why Democrats have fought so hard to not allow people to opt out or have private accounts. Democrats want to turn social security into another welfare system, just like they have turned the tax code into a welfare system. This isn't about everybody paying their fair share, it is about taking as much from one group and giving it to the group that supports Democrats. Our government under Democrat control has become an organized crime organization, much like the unions. They are using the tax laws to steal from people.

    July 24, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  12. just sayin

    and just wait until all of those illegal immigrants the democrats want to make citizens, along with their extended families, start jumping into social security and collecting. but i am sure they will pay all those back social security taxes right? hahahahahahaha!!!!

    July 24, 2013 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  13. Bessy


    They could start with making the government pay back all the money it " borrowed " from SS plus interest.

    July 24, 2013 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  14. Fair is Fair

    The cap on Medicare has already been lifted. 1.45%, no cap. So the guy who makes $50K per year is paying $725 per year in Medicare taxes, while the guy who makes $1 Million is paying $14,500 per year in Medicare taxes. Don't they both get the SAME benefit at retirement? Is that what's meant by a "Fair Share"? Phooey.

    July 24, 2013 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  15. Gunderson

    Aw, yes,
    More benifits for the Nanny State. To get money out have to put money in. Bet this plan hatched in Detroit. Jobs move over seas, rich move money offshore, 17 Trillion Dollar Federal Debt, no one paying it guess what? No money! Putin Care killing jobs, savvy? Gunderson go back to Salt Mines. Suggest you do same. Look at all the Pension Plans in deep trouble. Never put somebody else ti charge of your future. Remember famous words of POGO. We have met the enemy and he is us.

    July 24, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  16. lew todd

    Repubs should be careful what they wish for in entitlement reform...Simple solution to saving Social security and Medicare...Means testing, which means that the repubes base are going to be the ones "saving" the system...Let's get on with it...Means testing

    July 24, 2013 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  17. simplyput

    Please check out a SS info pamplet entitled *What every woman should know.* If you want to know why men are leaving the families, here are your answers. The govt rewards every single woman with child if the man is gone, and out of the home. Expand this insidious waste? I thought this president was for keeping the families together. All entitlements should be reformed, not expanded. What hypocrosy. The pamplet is free from your friendly SS office.

    July 24, 2013 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  18. Rudy NYC

    tom l. wrote:

    So, be intellectually honest when you make comments rather than just being a partisan hack. The fact is that Obama is absolutely using class warfare. How can you deny this? Or am I wrong that when he says the "rich need to pay their fair share" that he is not utilizing class warfare tactics?
    "partisan hack" That ranks as one of most hypocritical remarks ever seen around here. It takes talent to contradict yourself in the same breathe and not realize it. Tell someone not to be partisan and then turn right around and make a partisan attack.

    I keep telling you that the hyper right are too high and mighty to see themselves for what they are, hypocrites This proves it.

    July 24, 2013 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |