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Future in voters’ hands

To the Journal editor:

There are federal legislators waiting for Social Security reserves to run short of funds by 2035. They hope that no corrective legislative action is taken by then, resulting in a forced reduction of your social security check by 20%. These same lawmakers would also be willing to increase the age at which you can start receiving social security benefits.

In response, Congressman John Larson has introduced a bill called H.R.860 – Social Security 2100 Act. The bill would not only increase your Social Security benefits, but would provide for a fully funded, stable Social Security Trust beyond the 21st century.

Currently, with each paycheck, 6.2% of income is contributed to Social Security. The Social Security 2100 Act would equally increase both worker and employer payroll contributions. Over a 24-year period, 2020 to 2043, the rate would gradually increase from 6.2% to 7.4%. For workers earning $50,000 a year, that amounts to just 50 cents more a week.

We pay into Social Security on income earned up to $132,900 a year. There’s no Social Security tax on any income earned over this amount. The Social Security 2100 Act would change that. For those fortunate enough, any income earned over $132,900 and up to $400,000 would be exempt. The bill would, however, place a 6.2% Social Security tax on any earned income over $400,000 a year. This would only affect about 1% of the highest income workers.

For now, Social Security benefits over $25,000 for an individual, and over $32,000 for couples filing jointly, can be taxed. The Social Security 2100 Act would increase these levels to $50,000 for individuals and to $100,000 for couples.

The majority of seats in the House are held by 234 Democrats. When this bill eventually comes to a vote, I believe it should pass. It’ll then be sent to the Senate, where the majority of seats are held by Republicans. In the Senate, the bill isn’t expected to even come to a vote. The bill, it seems, sits right down party lines.

The choice will most likely be left in voters’ hands. They can either accept a 20% reduction in benefits and an increased retirement age, or they can support those who co-sponsor the Social Security 2100 Act. Choose wisely, the quality of your retirement depends on it!

MAX GRAVES

Marquette