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Super committee co-chair Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) speaks to reporters as she arrives for a meeting in the Capitol in Washington November 18, 2011. The special congressional committee is tasked with finding at least $1.2 trillion in budget savings over

Several years ago, Atrios began a campaign to try to protect the status quo for Social Security against a burgeoning austerity fetish. He pointed out that instead of talking about cutting the program, we needed to be expanding it. The idea was to stake out a far left position giving Democrats political room to simply fight off proposed cuts and leave the program be. But a funny thing happened: elected Democrats took up the call. Now there's a concerted effort, supported by one member of Senate leadership, to expand Social Security and to actually provide some folks with more generous benefits. Greg Sargent reports.
Today, I’m told, Senate Democrats will introduce a proposal to expand Social Security benefits for certain groups—and it is picking up the support of a member of the Democratic leadership, Senator Patty Murray of Washington State. Senator Mark Begich of Alaska will take the lead on the proposal, and he and Murray will speak about it on the Senate floor this afternoon.

The new proposal is called the Retirement and Income Security Enhancements Act, or RAISE Act, and it would increase benefits specifically for groups who have seen their retirement security eroded by recent economic trends such as the transition to two-earner families, stagnating wages, declining savings, and the erosion of pensions. It would increase benefits for many divorced spouses, and widows and widowers, and would extend benefit eligibility for some children of retired, disabled or deceased workers—to be paid for by a two-percent payroll tax on earnings over $400,000, which is also designed to help shore up the program’s long-term finances.

Sargent has Murray's prepared remarks which include the point activists have been making for a while now: "Wages have stayed flat—or even declined for some. And fewer companies offer the kinds of generous pension plans that used to help so many workers stay financially secure." To do so, Murray argues, Congress needs to "make some common sense updates to ensure our Social Security system is doing everything possible to help seniors and their families."

This legislation is a very good start to solving the retirement crisis millions of older Americans face. It's good politics, too. As Mark Begich—running for re-election this year—says, "Are we for or against helping seniors have a dignified life in their later years? I'm for that."

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 08:36 AM PDT.

Also republished by Social Security Defenders and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  About time, (35+ / 0-)

    but why not just end the limit on payroll taxes and extend it to unearned income as well?  Social Security would never run out of money.  Next, how about an option to buy-in to greater benefits instead of being forced into IRA's which primarily subsidize the banking sector.  

    •  Why privilege unearned income, at all? (0+ / 0-)

      Unless you have unearned income, you have no idea the extent to which it's privileged, sanctified, even.

      The middle class screwed itself supporting the policies and politicians which/who hoisted up the upper class end of the playing field and embedded the tilt in law.

      If you don't have a seat at the table, you're probably on the menu.

      by CarolinNJ on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 02:29:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well, I was very surprised by this (31+ / 0-)

    Hadn't even considered it a feasible thing.  But after reading deeper (the Pacific Standard article is especially good), I can see this as a potential game changer.  And I think it is something we truly need to support before the baby boom retirement wave begins to collapse into poverty.

    Seems like a very good political move, too.  So it is win-win.  It could solve a major societal problem and help Democrats get elected.

    Still trying to figure it all out

    by CindyV on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 08:58:03 AM PDT

    •  It isn't feasible (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dinotrac, Roger Fox, daeros, merrylib

      It is a throwaway proposal designed for an election year.

      •  I'm inclined to agree. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JJ In Illinois, daeros

        IT wont raise enough money to impact SS retirees in a significant way.

        .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

        by Roger Fox on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 10:16:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  IRA's (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Stills, splashy, NewRomeIsBurning

        are not feasible, except for the bankers,  but they have been encouraged for 30 years.

        •  IRA's have been very beneficial to my family... (0+ / 0-)

          Including my parents who invested in them to the max. In most cases, I think they are a no-brainer for the long term. You need to follow the common sense recommendations as you near retirement age, but they really are a great deal for many.

          •  IRAs are good for some people, but not everyone (0+ / 0-)

            When there are economic downturns, people who lose their jobs often have to draw on their IRAs to get by.  I worked with people who definitely had a good enough income to have decent IRAs, but some lost their jobs and were unemployed so long they ended up with no money in their IRA at age 55 when they finally picked up another job.  

            And those are the people earning enough to have a decent IRA.  My brother has less than 5,000 in an IRA at age 52, and he's earning just a little above the minimum wage (and likely to stay at that level if he is even able to stay employed).  He will never have an IRA that will really help with his retirement needs.

            Looking at my Mom who has been able to squeak by on SS for many years, I see my brother's future as bleak unless something is done to boost SS.  Mom had a house that was mostly paid off, and now she is able to use a reverse mortgage to draw enough to pay the bills.  My brother has no house, not even a car.

            Between having to draw on IRAs during economic hard times and the massive losses on the market, I think IRAs have been debunked as the solution that will work for the vast majority of people.  IRAs may work for a portion of our society, but they are not a solid safety net.

            This proposal is realistic.  I don't think we should think of this as a throw away.  It might not happen right away, but something needs to change and this looks like a good going in position.

            Still trying to figure it all out

            by CindyV on Wed Jun 11, 2014 at 04:38:50 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  The impact will be very small (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      daeros

      and it wont solve a major problem. See my other comment about raising the income cap.

      .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

      by Roger Fox on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 10:15:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Oh yeah.. Dems should run on a tax increase (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    merrylib

    and/or spending more money we don't have.

    It's a winning campaign issue!

    Wages have stayed flat—or even declined for some.
    WTF does that have to do with people currently on SS?

    Excuse me if I am cynical, but this is yet another proposal designed to make Dems look good this fall that doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of passing.

    But the shitty economy, VA scandal, ACA and other things will likely be what voters decide on.

    •  I disagree. This is an excellent idea, (44+ / 0-)

      even if it cannot pass immediately.  Compnay pensions do not exist and the average 401K is far short of what is needed to support retirement.  For many, social security is all there is.

      Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

      by TomP on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 09:42:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And if not the only income, often the main (17+ / 0-)

        income. My parents and in-laws retired with guaranteed pensions that included generous cost-of-living increases. They had comfortable retirements.
        Many in my generation (just reaching retirement age) have no pensions -- just our savings and social security. My husband and I made enough and worked in places that had decent matching for the 401 K so we will be okay -- UNLESS the stock market crashes again (then we're in trouble). So we'll never be as secure as my parents even though both of us got more education and actually worked as many or more years in higher paying jobs than did our parents.
        And the next generation won't have it as good as we have it. I watch my older daughter struggling with far more education-loan debt than I had, even though we paid for her undergraduate education. (Two years of grad school puts you into a fair amount of debt and the interest rate for a federal loan for grad students is 6.8%).
        I assume this bill is much less for people my age than it is for the next generations -- and they will need it!

        While Democrats work to get more people to vote, Republicans work to ensure those votes won't count.

        by Tamar on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 10:12:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Especially for women (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NewRomeIsBurning

        Who get paid less from the get-go, and usually can't save nearly as much or get things like 401Ks. They live longer too, so end up solely on SS far more often than men do.



        Women create the entire labor force.
        ---------------------------------------------
        Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

        by splashy on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 05:47:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  But they are putting a stake in the ground to (23+ / 0-)

      counter the centrists who want Social Security cuts.  I'm not looking for an increase but I am STRONGLY opposed to cuts and we do need progressives moving the stake in the direction of increases to fight off the Mark Warner types and Hillary Clinton for that matter who want to put cuts in the fineprint.  Not that we don't need to read ALL the fine print in proposals like this too because sometimes they sneak the cuts in under the disguise of increases.  Oh, yeah, I can match your cycnicism for sure.  

      They need to know progressives are not going to stand for cuts!!!  Clinton needs to get on the record opposing cuts.  No more Grand Bargains.  

    •  Tax increase on those earning over $400,000 (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bufffan20, hbk, Penny GC

      and a 2% payroll tax at that, which would be applied, I assume, to only the income that is in excess of $400,000. So someone who earns $400,001 would pay a 2% increase on only that one dollar that is over the $400,000 (an additional two cents).

      •  About 1.1% of earners (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        katesmom

        And is there a matching 2% from employers?

        .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

        by Roger Fox on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 10:21:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Actually only taxable income so that would be (0+ / 0-)

        a lot less than gross.  For 400K taxable it would amount to about  $8000.  But by the time people at that income level take all the breaks they would pay on a lot less taxable.  Not well stated but hope you get my drift.

    •  It's an effort to go all FDR -- you can't pack (5+ / 0-)

      much of a punch shouting "obstructionist" unless you have something -- something that people want -- to obstruct.

      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

      by dinotrac on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 09:52:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  When you have the time (12+ / 0-)

      maybe read the links? If you had,you'd know that 75 percent of Americans say we should consider increasing Social Security benefits. And then there is this,bolding mine:

      Black’s proposal was attuned, however, to a mounting pile of research and demographic data that describes a gathering disaster. The famously large baby boom generation is heading into retirement. Thanks to decades of stagnant wages and the asset collapse of the Great Recession, more than half of American working-class households are at risk of being unable to sustain their standard of living past retirement. To put it even more starkly, according to research by the economists Joelle Saad-Lessler and Teresa Ghilarducci, 49 percent of middle-class workers are on track to be “poor or near poor” after they retire.

      There is very little safety net left to break this fall. The labor market for older workers is bleak. Private pensions are largely a thing of the past. Private savings are so far gone that some 25 percent of households with 401(k) and other retirement plans have raided them early to cover expenses, and a growing number of Americans over age 50 find themselves accumulating, not settling, debt. On the whole, 401(k)s have proved a “disaster,” as Black puts it, one that has enriched the financial sector but lashed the country’s retirement security to a volatile stock market—and left 75 percent of Americans nearing retirement age in 2010 with less than $30,000 in their accounts.

      What’s left? Social Security. Though it was never meant to be a national retirement system all by itself, that’s increasingly what it has become. For Americans over age 65 in the bottom half of the income distribution, Social Security makes up at least 80 percent of retirement income.  http://www.psmag.com/...

      As more seniors slip below the poverty line,partly because the stagnant wages of the past 30 years means their SS benefit is too low to keep them above it, we need to expand the damn benefit. Common Sense. Good on Atrios for using his forum to point it out.

      "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

      by tardis10 on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 10:14:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  unfortunately this proposal is too small (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tardis10, mcstowy

        raising the income cap will have an exponentially larger impact comparatively.

        .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

        by Roger Fox on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 10:20:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Of course 401Ks have been a disaster (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tardis10

        The Boomers have been stolen from for decades now, starting in the Reagan years, when the older right wingers managed to gain control over the government so much, and systematically started taking from the children of their less wealthy peers who had managed to do quite well with the more liberal policies, the Boomer generation that was so large and capable.  



        Women create the entire labor force.
        ---------------------------------------------
        Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

        by splashy on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 06:16:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  TomP is right JJ in Illinois, says me, Grabber by (7+ / 0-)

      the Heel. A push for expansion of benefits and upper income SS tax increase may not pass now, but it is a better than negotiating on how to cut the only retirement Americans can count on.

      Americans had retirement figured out. By 1980 when st ronnie was elected, 60% of Americans had a defined benefits pension. I think it was 30%, maybe less, had stocks and bonds, and everybody had SS. It has been downhill for most 'Americans ever since. 401ks do not provide a  reliable retirement for working and middle-class people. They can not ride out even minor downturns in the market given the size of their investments.

      Time to change the billionaire driven argument of cuts cuts  cuts to a discussion of what all American retirees actually need to have a dignified retirement, free from want and privation.

      •  Minor market downturn shouldn't matter. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JJ In Illinois
        They can not ride out even minor downturns in the market given the size of their investments.
        There are no requirements to invest your 401(k) funds in stock.

        Every 401(k) I've ever had offered at least one bond and/or money market investment option and, once you leave a company, you have the option of moving your funds to a rollover IRA where you have a wide range of investment options (including the gold standard of safety - debt of the U.S. Government).

        Social Security invests 100% of their excess funds in fixed income securities - there's a reason for that.

        However, if you're not near retirement, a "minor downturn" in the market is likely to be followed by a corresponding upturn and be invisible to you by the time you retire. Admittedly, there is no guarantee, but there is also no guarantee that SS will not cut benefits in the future -- Congress and the Administration could, legally, simply end the program and spend the entire trust fund on sprucing up national parks or on military expansion. Of course, some ignorant people panic during a market crash/correction and move their 401(k) funds out of stocks and into fixed income securities (rather than doing that during bubbles and the inverse during corrections/crashes) -- but there's not much one can do to protect fools from themselves, it's a free country.

        The closer you are to retirement, more of the funds you are relying on living off of in retirement should be in safer (lower return, lower volatility) investments. Indeed, at some point late in retirement, probably ALL the money you are relying on living on for the rest of your life should be in such investments.

        Unfortunately, too many people are financially illiterate and do stupid things (as we saw in the dot-com meltdown, the housing meltdown, and as I think we are likely to see in the next couple years with the current stock market bubble).

        •  Most people are not prepared to navigate the stock (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jbsoul, splashy, cowdab

          market. That's why they count on a bank or a money manager to invest for them. And if your 401k is on the smallish size even the professionals can't do much to protect it during hard times. And given the ethics on display in the financial community what would anyone trust a modest 401k to provide for retirement given the evidence of the last 20 years?

          It is time to design a defined benefits pension system for the 21st century. It is safer for small investors to invest in funds together with laws regulations and insurance protecting them from the disgraces who have pillaged our economy for too long.

          The 401k does not work for working and middle class retirees. 401s work for investors and employers, not employees. Back to the drawing board.

          •  There are, of course, no... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            OrganicChemist

            ...assurances in high gain investing. However, over the past 20 years, one would have done fairly well dollar cost averaging into an index fund that covers, for example, the DJIA. It's pretty simple and inexpensive (unless your employer's 401(k) plan sucks - which some do WRT fees). It doesn't take a money manager to invest in a broad index fund -- and it's generally unwise to fiddle around with allocations trying to "time the market". People with modest means don't need a money manager -- they don't have to be tax efficient, they are not trying to avoid estate taxes, and they shouldn't be taking high risks.

            But, the point is, the individual is usually free to invest, just as Social Security does, in the safest investment available -- treasury debt or perhaps money market funds in one's 401(k). There is no free lunch for small or large investors - higher gain is correlated with higher risk.

            You can buy a defined benefit plan instead of putting your money into a 401(k) -- they are called annuities (it's probably not a wise investment and one has to be quite careful to not get soaked on fees). But it's quite safe and quite easy.

            I don't understand why people think defined benefit pension plans have magical powers and are secure. Ask the retired municipal workers in Detroit how secure they feel their plan is. The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp insures most private plans, but if too many collapse, they will need to be bailed out by the government - but the taxpayers may reject that idea.

            As well, most defined benefit plans in the private sector don't adjust for cost of living -- so they are actually often not very "secure" as a few years of the mid 70's through the early 80's devastates "real" benefits.

      •  People worked for the same employer (0+ / 0-)

        back then.  DB plans made sense.  

        As people became more mobile and moved from job to job, defined contribution plans made more sense.

        401ks do not provide a  reliable retirement for working and middle-class people. They can not ride out even minor downturns in the market given the size of their investments.
        Both types of plans use stocks and other investments as a way to build the retirement funds available.  So, it is silly to make that comparison.

        Even the PBGC, which is the government guarantor of DB plans relies on putting its funds in the stock market   (about 50% I think).

        DB plans can and do fail, and PBGC often only pays a portion of what an employee thought he would be getting.

        •  Because people change employers more often in (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jbsoul, splashy

          our present economy doesn't mean the 401k has worked for working and middle-class retirees.

          We need to create a defined benefit pension program for the 21st century that actually works for the majority of retirees not employers and wall st ticks.

          •  Defined benefit plans are expensive (0+ / 0-)

            very expensive - especially with increased life spans.  People are living much longer than they did 50 years ago.

            Who do you plan to fund these plans?

            •  Model it after SS.... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Grabber by the Heel

              What people need isn't retirement savings, that model doesn't work, is heavily tilted against those who don't understand everything necessary to make wise decisions investing in stocks/bonds, assuming they even get to control that, which in many 401k's they don't.

              Retirement savings also neglects one other extremely important basic fact, We do not know our own expiration date, it is impossible to know exactly how fast or slow a savings modeled plan should be drawn down.

              What people do need is retirement insurance, a system that pays out a monthly amount based on what you put in over your life, And will continue to pay this regardless of how long you manage to live, And can transfer to your spouse/husband/partner/smismar(futurarama) apon death, And also provides benefits to any orphaned children in the unfortunate case that some are left behind.

              What needs to be done, is allow SS to buy tax backed municipal bonds that are rated A or better to obtain better return rates, increase the SS tax by 2%, and remove the income cap on taxable inxome, and finely make capital gains count towards SS taxes.

              Using revenue from above said changes, double the SS payout, remove the carve out that punishes public workers who paid in but have State pensions, improve survivor benefits.

            •  Our economy is flush with assets, funds and (0+ / 0-)

              opportunities. It is the way we manage and distribute these asserts and opportunities that has killed shared prosperity in America. The economy of supply siders and Clintonistas has savaged American workers.

              A trillion dollar investment in infrastructure would be a good start with good Union jobs and returning a share of political power to the working and middle class. Allowing only wall st and corporate pirates to design are economy and trade policies is like allowing only drunks to write our liquor laws.

              People are living longer if they are rich or well off. Life expectancy is dropping for working and middle class people and their children are projected to have a SHORTER life expectancy than their parents. And even if people were living longer, forcing them to live in an economy that is designed to return us to widespread elder poverty is not an option, even in a country only pretending to be a democracy.

              An example of the  bad economic planning we are trapped in is the oil industry assuring their investors that the $90 trillion in estimated reserves will be tapped. Never mind climate change. Never mind clean energy options and never mind the fact that the 90 trillion to be extracted would happen over 30 years, but clean air, water, farm land, and healthy natural assets are worth nearly 140 trillion a year to the world economy. And burning that oil is likely to cost the world trillions more.

              We have to change. We cannot afford our countries billionaires any longer and their old fashioned ideas. We can design a better economy. A more inclusive and vibrant economy and fixing our retirement crises in favor of retirees makes more sense than designing millions of working peoples retirement to please Pete Peterson, billionaire bonehead.

              •  Worked so well for the Soviet Union, didn't it? (0+ / 0-)

                Any and all governments that tried to centrally plan and manage their economies failed miserably.

                "But.. but.. we can do it right this time!", you'll say.

                I say you're wrong and it would only end disastrously for tens of millions of people, if not more globally.  You screw with the US economy, you are screwing with the global economy.  It would not end well.

                Head on down to Venezuela for a taste of modern government run economy where you will gladly stand in line 8 hours for the privilege of buying a roll of toilet paper.  No thanks!

                •  All economies are designed by and for someone. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  splashy

                  Is our only choice unregulated capitalism controlled by psychopathic oligarchs or can we choose to create an economy works for everyone? That doesn't mean communism, it means, to me, a regulated capitalism that all citizens have a stake and a say in. Is this communism?

                  If we democratize our economy and trade again, re-include worker and middle class participation in economic decision making, share the wealth more equably, as we did post WWII until we foolishly elected ronnie and returned to the gilded age economy of horse and buggy days, we can have plenty of secure retirees and rich people.

                  The boomers paid for their parents retirement and their own. We held up our end of the bargain and more. The oligarchs can't have our SS.

                  In fact its time our spoiled unpatriotic billionaires gave something back to the country that has enabled them to accumulate such piles of ill gotten loot. They've had a real nice run they don't get to have every bodies SS too.

                   

                  •  You apparently have not studied history (0+ / 0-)
                    If we democratize our economy and trade again, re-include worker and middle class participation in economic decision making, share the wealth more equably, as we did post WWII until we foolishly elected ronnie and returned to the gilded age economy of horse and buggy days, we can have plenty of secure retirees and rich people.
                    WTF are you talking about?

                    Post WWII was a democratized economy?  Where the flying fuck did you get that idea?

                    Post WWII was a capitalistic dream.  The world was devastated and America was the only economy booming and able to provide goods to the entire world.

                    You seem to think the government had something to do with the booming economy and unfettered capitalism. Demand for labor was at an historic high.  Workers could organize and demand whatever they wanted.

                    •  You didn't grow up in a UAW family did you? Yes (0+ / 0-)

                      the US had nearly a 50% share of the worlds economy in the immediate aftermath of the war, but as we paid down the war debt we also financed the reconstruction of Western Europe including our recent enemies. Rebuilt Japan and financed the most successful bang for buck government program in history, the GI Bill, which the greedy dicks on wall st and the usual dens of conservative wisdom called 'the doll".

                      The American working and middle class began their boom times
                      in 1937 when the US started building equipment for the coming war. But in 1948 the repugs got Taft Hartley passed and the American Labor Movement began to die.

                      Re-read my post, I said America enjoyed boom times from top to bottom of the social and economic scale after WWII until we elected ronnie and then Clinton finished what he started.  

                      And the federal government has a lot to do with the sustained boom. Glass/Steagall provided the longest period of financial stability in US history. FDR made the National Gurads stop shooting down steel and auto workers in 1938. Americans had SS, Medicare, and the best public schools in the world. American workers had a place at the national economic table for nearly 40 years until conservative Democrats held the Unions while repugs stabbed them.

                      The robber barons of the horse and buggy and roaring 20s days were made to play by rules and not allowed to recklessly plunge the country into an economic panic every 10 years.

                      And you, sir, may go flying fuck yourself.

                       

      •  Also take into account changes in the form of (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        splashy

        work where people are 'contractors' instead of 'employees which reduces SS paid by employers and all benefits, as well as income. And deal with those whose jobs have had hours cuts for the convenience and cash position of employers, the 29 hour week and such. All of these profile issues make nearly certain that below a level somewhere well into the top tier, the notion of inheritance is a fiction.

      •  Yes, the Boomers have been screwed (0+ / 0-)

        By the generations that came before them.



        Women create the entire labor force.
        ---------------------------------------------
        Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

        by splashy on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 06:17:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Just the suggestion that SS should be raised (14+ / 0-)

      instead of cut is a HUGE win for real Democrats. This proposal, even if it is mostly symbolic, shows that the conversation has been changed.

      Just a year or two ago we had the Democratic President and the Democratic minority leader in the House pushing for CUTS to SS benefits. We've flipped that narrative, and if we keep up the pressure in a year or two the discussion will have moved even closer to helping the least fortunate.

      And yes, a tax increase on the wealthiest Americans IS something that Democrats should run on. This is another sign that we have changed the discourse. If some people want to make a big deal about the national debt and the deficit then it is only fair that we ask the wealthiest Americans to start pulling their own weight, since they have been the sole beneficiaries of almost all new economic growth for decades.

      •  My Republican sisters and their spouses (4+ / 0-)

        already have Democratic representation (the joys of living in the Bay Area), but proposals like these could make them more likely to support Democrats in the future because this hits them where they live -- they're both receiving Social Security and while they're reasonably well-off, they know that might not last.

        If 10% of Republican boomers and seniors switch to supporting Democrats over this issue, that could make a big difference in some swing districts and states.

        There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

        by Cali Scribe on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 01:12:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Seriously (6+ / 0-)

      You can't see the connection between wages remaining flat and people being to save for retirement?

      Well, I guess there's no point in discussing this further with you since you clearly have no ability to comprehend basic economics.

      •  Studies have shown that to be true (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tardis10

        Flat wages mean a lower SS benefit rate. Which increases the need for investments beyond SS, which of course one cant afford because wages have not kept up with inflation since the early 1970's.

        .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

        by Roger Fox on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 11:30:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Spending $ we don't have would be a GREAT idea. (0+ / 0-)

      (1) Anything that puts more $ into actual circulation--as opposed to simply accumulating in corporate bank accounts, which is the limitation of the Federal Reserve's Quantitative Easing--is a great idea.

      (2) This appears to be paid for by raising taxes on the wealthy. So actually it would be spending money we would have.

      (3)(a) Not that I want to let the wealthy off the hook, but...if we just printed the damn money and threw it from helicopters (Bernanke), or buried it in the ground and paid people to dig it up (Keynes), or used it to pay people to prepare for a fake space-alien invasion (Krugman), that would be darn effective stimulus.

      (3)(b) Remember the payroll-tax holiday that was part of the 2009 stimulus? It didn't reduce revenues to the SS trust fund by one penny. How can that be? Because the stimulus law simply directed the Treasury to credit the SS trust fund with revenues at the old, unreduced, payroll-tax rate. Even though those funds weren't collected. It was creating money from nothing. (Shhh! We don't want Rush Limbaugh to hear us.) Why doesn't the latest proposal simply include more of that? At least as long as unemployment is above, say, 5%?

      "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

      by HeyMikey on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 06:46:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  All power (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VeggiElaine, TomP, MufsMom, worldlotus, jbsoul

    to the bloggers! For those not familiar here is one of Atrios's columns from last year on this now that he has gone all mainstream media.
    It's incredibly encouraging to know that sometimes, perhaps, all of this spilling of ink electrons can actually make a difference, at least in reframing the terms of debate ...
    -- Stu

    "Oh me oh my oh me oh my What a lot of funny things go by!" - T. Geisel

    by sdf on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 09:01:40 AM PDT

  •  Raising the income cap to 90% about 186k (14+ / 0-)

    would add about 35 billion to SS revenues, more than enough to increase retirees benefits by several 1000 dollars, and expand SS while adding a little bit to the Trust Fund.

    2% increase in FICA for those who make over 400k is not very much money and really wont have a far reaching significant impact on those who most need it. 2% more FICA on about 1.1% of income earners, who earn most of their money as capital gains..... doesnt come close to:

    Raising the income cap to 90% would put $2000 or more in a seniors pocket every year.

    .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

    by Roger Fox on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 09:07:43 AM PDT

    •  that's the point-increase won't affect most people (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TomP, Tamar, bufffan20, mconvente, askew, worldlotus

      That's the political appeal of the proposal - taxes would increase for only those individuals making $400,000 a year or more, a tiny, tiny number of voters.

      When most voters understand that (a) it won't cost them more but (b) it could potentially help them and their families (by shoring up the solvency of the Social Security trust fund and providing increased benefits to some), they will likely support the proposal.

      Might not pass any time soon, but it becomes part of the conversation and could pass in the future.

      •  A tiny number of voters & dollars (0+ / 0-)

        Vs .2% of GDP, about 35 billion affecting only the top 10%, a small portion of voters.

        .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

        by Roger Fox on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 09:42:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I can guarantee every SS Retiree a min of $1500 (0+ / 0-)

        possibly as much as $3000 of benefit increase.

        You are talking about a few hundred dollars a year at best for seniors.

        .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

        by Roger Fox on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 09:46:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yup. And -- biggest earners get substantial (5+ / 0-)

      income ouside of wages.

      It's  not our grandparents' economy anymore. Time to tap all income, whether derived from wages or not.

      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

      by dinotrac on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 09:53:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The income cap is supposed to be @ 90% (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bufffan20, tardis10, mcstowy

        Historically speaking, going back 30 yrs.

        Of course some real serious job creation just about fixes SS by itself, raising the SS income cap to 90% finishes the job, making SS good thru 2090.

        I would just as soon add a minimum of 6 brackets to income taxes, all at the top. Cap gains has to be addressed too. I would really like to leave SS as wage based insurance.

        And yes the 1986 tax reform act killed domestic investment, the result is todays economy is not our grandparents economy.

        .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

        by Roger Fox on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 10:13:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's a key difference between us. I believe (0+ / 0-)

          SS as wage-based insurance might have been true in the long-ago and far-away, but not so much now.  More to the point, it's not working very well right now.

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 10:34:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The only thing broken with SS is the economy (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jbsoul

            20 million jobs at 36k each adds 89.2 billion in FICA per year. About .6% of GDP, According to the CBO thats about all we need to do. Raising the income cap (.2% of GDP) and real job creation guarantees SS will be good thru 2090.

            .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

            by Roger Fox on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 10:42:53 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Why not expand... (0+ / 0-)

            ...welfare instead of making Social Security a welfare program?

            A low wage earner already gets more return for every dollar they put into Social Security than a high wage earner.

            Many people support Social Security (although, some would not as much if they realized how skewed the "return on investment" is towards those who contribute the least) who don't show the same support for welfare programs.

            It's potentially politically destabilizing for Social Security to decouple contributions and benefits yet more than they already are.

            •  I'd like to see a better return for "high wage" (0+ / 0-)

              earners, given that "high wage" in this case is still pretty firmly middle class, especially in costly areas like New York and San Francisco.

              LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

              by dinotrac on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 11:43:27 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Worse than 401ks for working folks? (0+ / 0-)
            •  Depends on the 401K. I know some people who (0+ / 0-)

              did reasonably well -- certainly better than SS -- even after the stock market bath.

              Probably not true for low-income workers, but SS pays them something like 90% of their base wage.  As the base wage goes higher, the payout goes down until it reaches 15 cents on the dollar.

              LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

              by dinotrac on Wed Jun 11, 2014 at 04:03:49 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Don't forget that income tax comes into retiree (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Roger Fox

      pictures, even when only SS is involved. Above $25K for a single, there is a debate and a form for figuring how much of the SS should be taxable, a slightly higher number for couples,  in addition to taxation of income from those various private retirement vehicles of one kind or another. As it is, me waiting until 67 to collect SS will result in a payout of over $25K, and the terrible form every year, and the mandatory withdrawals at 70.5 also beckon.  Is there any conversation of COLA changing of these numbers, as I do hear that there are regs in the works where the 70.5 years starting mandatory withdrawal will be raised to an age in the eighties. Especially as the 5% used in the mandatories is one calculated not to allow a lot of folk for whom the needful number is lower, to make it to the end of their money.

  •  So pleased to see that some of them have (11+ / 0-)

    finally figured it out. Democratic policies win - Republican policies loose. Run on Democratic policies.

    Further, affiant sayeth not. 53959

    by Gary Norton on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 09:29:53 AM PDT

  •   I would include it with rogers foxs idea (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bufffan20, mconvente

    raise the cap to 186K and add the 2% tax but put it on anyone making 1 million. 400k isnt what it used to be..

  •  Very good idea. And a blogger started it! (7+ / 0-)

    :-)

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 09:40:54 AM PDT

  •  This is the way to go! I'm happy that some (5+ / 0-)

    Democrats are fighting for the majority of Americans.

    While Democrats work to get more people to vote, Republicans work to ensure those votes won't count.

    by Tamar on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 09:45:33 AM PDT

  •  Mark Begich? Interesting. (10+ / 0-)

    I assumed this was going to be a story about Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

    Mark Begich is a very crafty politician. If he's doing this in a red state in an election year, that means something.

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 09:50:07 AM PDT

  •  for certain groups (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave925, greenbell

    Why not make Social Security a good deal for everybody who pays into it?

    Middle class Americans have been getting the shaft in Social Security for some time because:

    1. We cap contributions, and
    2. We collect only from income in the form of wages, and
    3. as a result, we have set up an inverse payout system that pays back a paltry 15% of earnings for higher earners vs 90% for lower earners.

    That might not have been so bad if 401-Ks panned out and we were all actually able to hold onto our homes, but...

    now it seems so very 1936.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 09:50:54 AM PDT

  •  It's long overdue but the usual suspects will d... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave925, Roger Fox

    It's long overdue but the usual suspects will demand it be "paid for" with cuts to other programs. Taxes on the wealthy are off the table. The big lie is that federal spending is funded by taxes. The truth is actually the opposite. As the sovereign issuer of currency the federal government is not revenue constrained and has the ability to create as much money as it needs to pay any and all obligations, at any time, for any amount. The federal govt is not like a business or household. It can never run out of money. Taxes are a mechanism to regulate economic activity and have nothing to do with raising revenue for federal spending. Whether or not to spend is a political decision, not a monetary one.

  •  What are the odds? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bufffan20, splashy

    Of the Senate even voting on this let alone getting it (or something similar) passed in the House? Pretty long, I would say.

    But it is a far better thing to be talking about how to extend and increase the value of SS instead of talking about austerity items like chained CPI and raised eligibility ages.

    So you go Dems! Keep the heat on the GOP, put them in the position of telling the voters why Granny should eat cat food while the wealthy ride the Gravy Train.

  •  Lowering the Social Security age - even if just (9+ / 0-)

    temporarily - will also help the employment picture, since when folks retire "early," it opens spots for promotion, thus creating demand for new hires at entry level.

    Form follows function -- Louis Sullivan

    by Spud1 on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 10:00:55 AM PDT

  •  This combines welfare and social security. It's (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Roger Fox

    better for social security and for current and future beneficiaries to keep those separate. I like the expanding social security, but not in a way that undermines its support.

    •  Increase the income cap to 90% about 186k (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      We Won

      This will raise about 35 billion, way more than 2% on 400k+, and impact the smallest benefit by $1500 a year, the average senior will see a $2000 increase.

      Thats if these politicians are serious about helping the poorest of SS retirees.

      .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

      by Roger Fox on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 10:25:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Not Payroll Tax - Increase in Capital Gains! (4+ / 0-)

    ?Are the people in congress incapable of figuring out that earned $ are not the problem, it is the preferential treatment of the enormous unearned income - investment income and capital gains - of the top tax brackets that are causing the the problems?  ?Or do they think we are incapable of figuring it out?

    Until there is a proposal which ends "carried interest" etc. and the artificially low rates on investment income, all this is just more hot air.

    •  all income the same (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Grabber by the Heel

      wouldn't it be great if all income was treated the same? I wonder what that would do to the federal budget and to FICA taxes. It would be worth exploring.

      •  IT would completely over fund SS. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        maybeeso in michigan

        We need about .7% of GDP to .8% for SS.

        Creating 20 million jobs thru infrastructure repairs at 36k each- Adds 89.2 billion in additional FICA each year, thats .6% of GDP.

        Raising the SS income cap raises .2% of GDP about 35 billion each year.

        Total is .8% of GDP, enough to see SS thru 2090 and beyond. Once the Boomers are dead SS revenues will grow slowly from 2050 to 2060, after which revenues will grow much faster.

        .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

        by Roger Fox on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 11:26:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  which is also designed to help shore up S.S. (2+ / 0-)

    2 trillion dollars could be saved in 20 yrs

    Table 1.  All Returns: Sources of Income, Adjustments, Deductions and Exemptions, by Size of Adjusted Gross Income, Tax Year 2008 irs.gov
    142 million returns

    This table shows persons
     (8 million returns)
    with incomes of $75,000,00 to $10 million+ received

    $107,117,240,000.00 in Social Security Benefits.

     cut here if any where save 1.07 tr 10 yrs

    and 2.1 tr 20yrs (2033 est year S.S becomes insolvent)

    current bal S.S is 2.7 trillion

    74TH CONGRESS. SESS. I. CH. 531. AUGUST 14, 1935.
    TITLE I-GRANTS TO STATES FOR OLD-AGE ASSISTANCE APPROPRIATION
     SECTION 1. For the purpose of enabling each State to furnish financial assistance,  to AGED NEEDY individuals

    the average payment by the table was $27,000.00+- subtracting this from the bottom number of $75,000.00 one has $48,000.00 or $25,600.00 more than a family of four at the poverty level of $22,400.00. How is that person NEEDY by the Original Act????

    •  Creating 20 million jobs thru infrastructure (4+ / 0-)

      spending, about 5% of GDP on  infrastructure would add about 89.2 billion in FICA each year. Over 20 years thats 1.78 trillion in additional FICA.

      .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

      by Roger Fox on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 10:35:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  how to create them (0+ / 0-)

        6.1 trillion dollar increase in debt under BUSH

         corps assets increase $27.7 trillion dollars 56%+

        source: 01co01nr irs.gov/stats 2001
        returns  corporations :   Total Assets $49,154,424,202,000 (49.1 Trillion)

         08co01ccr irs.gov/stats 2008
         returns  corporations :   Total Assets $76,799,143,905,000 (76.8 Trillion)

         By Article I Section 8 clause 1;

        a one time 100% excise on the $27.7 Trillion corp asset increase 2001-2008 source irs.gov/stats

         or
         current ASSET Forfeiture Laws

          Use $17 Trillion pay off Federal Debt

                  $3.5 Trillion pay off 1/2 50 states debt

                  $3.5 Trillion refinance 1/2 50 states debt at 3% creates $105 billion Revenue
         for ACA BANK   ($4,000.00 per person for health-care premium 26,250,000 insured)

                  $3.7 Trillion goes into Infrastructure Bank use to buy Federal or state debt at 3% $111 billion to
                           rebuild roads bridges etc. JOBS JOBS JOBS!!!

        win/win/win/win

          Banks become self-sustaining /federal budget saves $523 billion year in interest payments.
                 ($5.23 Trillion 10 years)

        /And should only take 8 years for the corps to regain what has been taxed! (Economy stimulating)

        /saves full faith and credit of the U.S. and restores what was questioned in violation of sec 4 of the 14th amendment

  •  'bout time! Dems need to go big with this (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bufffan20, Grabber by the Heel, hbk

    Every Dem who has, Begich, Merkeley being to two most notable, are comfortably winning their senate races. Also, Obama has to come out in support for this, which will box Republicans into opposing.

  •  we need to raise (9+ / 0-)

    taxes on the wealthy so they do something to pay back this nation for the built in advantage they have economically and militarily by not having to participate in conflict.

    this nation needs infrastructure improvement and a stronger safety net, if the elites don't want to help pay for those then they should be made to serve as citizens do  in israel.

    the elites can have it one way but having it both ways is unacceptable and needs to be changed immediately if not sooner, elite status economically does not give you the right to knighthood in the usa.

  •  "Far left"? (5+ / 0-)

    Not hardly. I put myself there, and I'm well to the left of the Dems, liberals and progressives pushing for this new expansion.

    (I grew up in a liberal household, and used to be a liberal myself, but moved to the left over time)

    Unless I misread what they've proposed, they're talking about a minor bump up of less than $100 a month. That's far from radical or far left.

    We leftists would prefer at least three relevant changes, if we continue on with the monstrous economic system currently in place, capitalism:

    Make Social Security an actual pension. As in, it should be enough on its own to support citizens, even if they have zero savings. It shouldn't be a supplement. It should be a living pension.

    Second: Reduce the retirement age to 60. This would help open up jobs for younger workers who can't find them, and help those with health issues live a life with at least some dignity as they age. The poor and the working class are actually living shorter lives than they used to, and much shorter than the upper middle class, who in turn live shorter lives than the rich.

    Third: Put a legal cap on the ratio of executive to rank and file pay. My own goal is 4 to 1, but that would be seen as too draconian for most people. Orwell, as a life-long, diehard socialist, thought 10 to 1 fair, so I'd push for that. If we can't get 10 to 1, then we plant our flag at 25 to 1, without wavering. That would take us back to the ratio of the 1960s.

    But, again, Murray's ideas are far, far from being "far left."

  •  Really happy with this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    red moon dog

    By floating the idea of expansion, we are automatically pushing back against the idea of cuts.

    Really pleased with my Senator, Patty Murray, for taking the lead on this.

    •  Great news about SS (0+ / 0-)

      but she was fooled into thinking - I don't know what other reason there is for it - that it would be no problem to give up federal unemployment benefits in the budget agreement with Ryan, because it would be SO EASY to take it up later.  And here we are six months later.

  •  Expansion yes, CPI no... (0+ / 0-)

    This is a nice contrast from the White House's position, which is for cutting Social Security benefits.  

    Obama must be fuming at the Senate Dems for pushing this.  He wants cuts in the program (CPI), not expansion.  

  •  Wait a minute? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    QuelleC

    Democrats are actually standing up and defending Social Security rather than just instantly cowering in the face of GOP claptrap?

    Hmm. That is interesting. Why now?

  •  now is there a difference in R v. D? (0+ / 0-)

    I see so many posts on this site that claim that there is no difference between the parties. I'm sure that people who make that claim will see this as an exception but I have to say that it greatly undermines their argument, in my view.

  •  if they can keep on message with this and (0+ / 0-)

    Obamacare this fall, they should be just fine in the elections I should think. Talk about how the GOP is against everything, and how they want to make your life worse, by taking away Obamacare and such.

  •  Great idea; wrong tax (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    red moon dog

    Don't deepen the tax.  Broaden it.

    Apply Social Security tax to income of all forms, not just earned income.  Broaden the taxable base, and lower the rate.  Tax investment income the same as income from labor.

    •  treat income the same (0+ / 0-)

      I agree that we should, at the least, consider incomes the same for tax treatment. Wouldn't it be something if Dems were running on a tax cut! Vote for D and your taxes will go down and your social security will go up and we'll improve the federal budget balance, too!

  •  Goodie! That is my seator from WA!!! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maybeeso in michigan

    I do really like senator Murray, we may not agree 100% but she really does work hard and has our veteran's backs for years. And she is strong on women's issues.
    GO Patty GO!!!!!
    Peace and Blessings!

    “When you victim-blame, be aware that in all likelihood, at least one woman you know and love silently decides she cannot trust you.” ` Steph Guthrie

    by Penny GC on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 11:45:35 AM PDT

  •  I wonder about SSI here. My income is $721 a mo... (0+ / 0-)

    I wonder about SSI here. My income is $721 a month and yes, I get a whopping $15 a month in steak and lobster food stamps.

    It doesn't go very far...

  •  Thanks Patty but what about our UI (0+ / 0-)

    that you so easily gave away to that bastard Paul Ryan to get the quick budget agreement.  I remember the smiling photos of you every day.  Start there, Patty, please, for the 2.7 million unemployed who are losing homes we managed to hang onto the last five years, and who need to fix our unsafe 17 yr old car to go to interviews.

    My retirement age for SS is 67; I have no idea what I am supposed to do for 15 years.  My highest paying job was the one I lost in 2002 during that particular Bush recession.

    •  I have a 1996 Dodge Caravan (0+ / 0-)

      My most recent repair bill was to replace all the front brake lines, $340.

      Dont anyone think that what QuelleC is telling us in the above comment isnt repeated millions of times each year.

      .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

      by Roger Fox on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 12:04:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, millions of us are poor (0+ / 0-)

        and we have old, unsafe cars.  I wish my repair bill was only $340 but I'm wondering what your point is.  That I have no point because my poverty is too common millions of times each year?  

  •  Elizabeth Warren started pushing for this 6 months (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jbsoul

    ago. It is nice to see the rest catching up.
    We need to use every possible means to pry away the trillions that the 1% are sitting on & put in back into circulation.

    Warren is neither a Clintonesque triangulator nor an Obamaesque conciliator. She is a throwback to a more combative progressive tradition, and her candidacy is a test of whether that approach can still appeal to voters.-J. Toobin "New Yorker"

    by chuck utzman on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 01:32:25 PM PDT

  •  Add some people to the list (0+ / 0-)

    The Senate bill needs to add some people to the list of those who are being short-changed on their Social Security. How about adding people who are affected by the Government Pension Offset (GPO)? As an example: I worked for the Federal government for 25 years and earned a small pension. I also worked for private employers for 20 years and paid into Social Security all that time. But because I draw a federal pension, I can only get 1/3 of the amount in Social Security that anyone else who worked the identical amount of time (20 years) and earned the identical amount of money and paid the identical amount of Social Security taxes gets. This is very, very unfair, and it ought to be repealed. Somebody introduces it into every session of Congress, and it goes nowhere every time.

  •  $117K was 90% of all income last time updated… (0+ / 0-)

    Now it's 83%. Still, I like getting it from very high incomes. >0.1% is where all the $$ is.

    "All politics is national."

    by Auriandra on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 04:32:47 PM PDT

  •  What? Democrats acting like Democrats? (0+ / 0-)

    Holy shit. Knock me over with a feather.

    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

    by HeyMikey on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 06:35:37 PM PDT

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