UPDATE: On the rec list!  Thank you all so much!  Keep spreading the word about Senator Begich's plan.  He has the right idea about what to do to strengthen Social Security and we need to get Democrats to make this the party's official plan.  Expect more diaries about Begich from me.

Ok, so far Laurence Lewis' front page post is about Chuck Hagel and John Brennan, which yes highlights some valid points and the rec list has diaries about Obama wanting to cut Social Security.  Great way to start Sunday Morning off with the first big Obama Rocks/Obama Sucks Pie Fight.  Well since the rec list gets filled with both "Obama Will Betray Us" and "11th Dimensional Chess" themed diaries, I for one am going to repeat a call for action that I have made several times but only made the rec list once.  And that is to get everyone to get their Senator and Congressman to back Senator Mark Begich's (D. AK) plan to strengthen Social Security.  I've already written about it quite a few times but if Sunday is going to turn out to be a big pie fight, I will take the role of the diarist actually proposing solutions.

Ok, so here's the very first diary I wrote about Begich's plan to strengthen Social Security:


Begich's plan is known as the Protecting and Preserving Social Security Act and here's what the plan calls for:

Increases Benefits for Seniors and Persons with Disabilities. Currently, Social Security benefits are adjusted by the Consumer Price Index for workers. However, costs and spending patterns for seniors do not mirror those of the workforce. That is why Sen. Begich’s bill calls for adjusting cost-of-living increases with a Consumer Price Index specifically for the elderly which was created to more accurately measure the costs of goods and services seniors actually buy.

Lifts the Cap on High-Income Contributions. Current law sets a cap based on income at $113,700 for paying into Social Security. If an individual’s wages hit that total for the year, they no longer pay into the program. Sen. Begich’s bill lifts the cap and asks higher income earners to pay Social Security on all their earnings in order to increase the program’s revenue stream and extend the overall solvency of the program.

Extends Social Security for approximately 75 years through modest revenue increases gradually implemented over the course of seven years. - Alaska Native News, 11/14/12

Now here's the actual plan:
The Alaskan AARP and the coalition to strengthen Social Security have endorsed Begich's plan:
“Sen. Begich’s bill serves the American people well in very important ways,” said Eric Kingson, co-chair of the Strengthen Social Security Coalition. “By asking high-income people to pay the same payroll tax contribution as everyone else, he dramatically improves the financing of Social Security. By improving the accuracy of the cost of living adjustment, he assures that seniors and people with disabilities will be able to maintain their standard of living as time goes on.” - Alaska Native News, 11/14/12
Now here's Begich making the case for the Protecting and Preserving Social Security Act on the Senate floor and explaining how Social Security doesn't contribute to the defict:

"Mr. President, a few weeks ago back home in Anchorage, I joined a group of seniors I presented this piece of legislation to them at the Anchorage Senior Center and she says she loves to describe herself as a "young woman from Alaska" stood up.  Beverly Moore, an 81-year old Korean War Navy veteran.  Beverly was there because the majority of her modest income comes from Social Security.  And she wanted to know how this proposal will strengthen that lifeline for her and thousands of Alaskans.  In fact, one in nine Alaskans receive Social Security.  With my states population of those 65 and older expanding rapidly, Social Security will continue to play a key role in supplementing a decent living.  If Social Security was not there for the elderly Alaskans, a fifth of them would live below poverty.  It's vital for our state, it's vital for all our states and for this whole country.  Mr. President I have no illusions that this bill is going to pass in the final weeks of this 112th congress but I wanted to get it into the mix.  I wanted to make sure people got the bigger point and again I would say to my residing officer and says this well and I know my friend here from Oregon who is on the floor also as we talk about the deficit that has taken center stage right now, we want to highlight one very clear thing: Social Security has not contributed, is not part of and never will contribute to the deficit.  So those who like to meddle in it and try to combine it into this deficit talk are just playing games with our seniors and disabled in this country." - U.S. Senator Mark Begich (D. AK), 12/7/12

Sounds like a great plan, right?  Wouldn't it be nice if every Democratic Senator backed this plan?  Well instead of spending the day fighting each other in the comments section of people's diaries, how about we focus on putting the pressure on the Senate to make it a reality.  Here's how you can do so:
You can help in three ways. (1) Call Senator Begich’s office and thank him. It’s seriously important to let him know that real progressives are behind a real progressive proposal. His DC office number is:

Senator Mark Begich
(202) 224 – 3004
(877) 501 – 6275 (toll-free)

(2) Get behind this bill. If you can publicize it, do. If you can write about it, do. If you can talk about it, do. We need to do our part as well to promote real progressive legislation. The next four years should not be a spectator sport.

(3) Call your senators — both of them — and ask them to co-sign this bill. This needs momentum, and co-signers provide that. The list of Senate phone numbers is here.:

http://www.senate.gov/... - America Blog, 11/19/12

I'll leave you with this diary.  Every time I sense an Obama pie fight regarding Social Security a brewing, I'm just going to post another diary about Begich's plan.  Personally, I like inspiring you guys to take action with actual solutions rather than argue with you.  Happy Sunday!

Originally posted to pdc on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 10:04 AM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions, The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party, Income Inequality Kos, DKos Pennsylvania, Virginia Kos, North Carolina BLUE, Social Security Defenders, and Native American Netroots.

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