Amid Cuts, Sanders Moves To Safeguard Social Security

08/25/11 4:16PM By Kirk Carapezza

VPR/Kirk Carapezza
Sen. Bernie Sanders said Thursday he wants Social Security to pay out all benefits for the next 75 years.
(Host) Senator Bernie Sanders is proposing new legislation that he says will strengthen and preserve Social Security for the better part of this century.

Currently, a 12.4 percent Social Security payroll tax is applied to income up to $106,800 a year. That's split equally by the employer and employee.

Sanders wants to raise that cap by applying it to people who earn more than $250,000 a year.

Despite widespread concern over costs for the program, Sanders says Social Security is not in crisis, and he says this bill - if passed - would follow through on a campaign promise made by President Obama.

(Sanders) "We want Social Security to pay out all benefits for the next 75 years, just as, by the way, [President] Reagan and Tip O'Neil did back in the 1980s. But let's be clear, this has nothing to do with the national debt or the deficit."

Janet Dermody is deputy director of the Vermont Center for Independent Living. Dermody supports raising the Social Security cap, even as a congressional "super committee" is looking for ways to cut the deficit.

(Dermody) "We the people must become that super committee. We must be heard from Congress, not the big spenders; not the ones who can afford to lobby. And we must join together to make sure we keep Social Security - that contract that we've had for over 75 years."

Senator Sanders says he's forming a commission to look at the issue before he officially proposes the legislation when Congress reconvenes.

There are currently no co-sponsors of the bill.

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senator_sanders social_security politics
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